Abstract
Background: The very low physical fitness levels of people with intellectual disabili‐ ties (ID) may influence their life expectancy. Therefore, we investigated the predic‐ tive value of physical fitness for survival in older adults with intellectual disabilities.

Method: In the Healthy Ageing and Intellectual Disabilities (HA‐ID) study,the physi‐ cal fitness levels of 900 older adults (≥50 years; 61.5 ± 8.1 years) were measured at baseline. All‐cause mortality was collected over a 5‐year follow‐up period. Cox pro‐ portional hazard models were used to determine the association between each phys‐ ical fitness test and survival, adjusted for age, sex, level of ID, and Down syndrome.

Results: The physicalfitness components that were independently predictive for survival were manual dexterity (HR = 0.96 [0.94–0.98]), visual reaction time (HR = 1.57 [1.28–1.94]), balance (HR = 0.97 [0.95–0.99]), comfortable gait speed (HR = 0.65 [0.54–0.78]), fast gait speed (HR = 0.81 [0.72–0.91]), grip strength (HR = 0.97 [0.94–0.99]) and cardiorespiratory fit‐ ness (HR = 0.997 [0.995–0.999]), with a better physicalfitness showing a lower mortality risk.

Conclusion: We showed for the first time that physical fitness was independently associated with survival in older adults with intellectual disabilities. Improving and maintaining physical fitness must become an essential part of care and support for this population

Additional Metadata
Keywords activity, intellectual disabilities, mortality, older adults, physical capacity
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/jar.12589, hdl.handle.net/1765/117837
Journal Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Citation
Oppewal, A, & Hilgenkamp, T.I.M. (2019). Physical fitness is predictive for 5-year survival in older adults with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 32(4), 958–966. doi:10.1111/jar.12589