Some Have Mobility Problems in Middle-age

SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 6 (UPI) — From 1997 to 2007, a growing number of U.S. adults ages 50-64 had trouble climbing 10 stairs or needed help getting out of bed, U.S. researchers found.

Lead author Linda Martin, a senior fellow at the Rand Corp., a non-profit research organization, and Vicki A. Freedman of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan said the reasons for the increase in the middle-age mobility-related problems are not clear.

“Although the overall rate of needing help with personal care among this group remains very low — less than 2 percent — this rise in disability is reason for concern,” Martin said in a statement. “It does not bode well for future trends for the 65 and older population, plus there are substantial personal and societal costs of caring for people of any age who need help.”

The researchers analyzed health data for people ages 50-64 by analyzing information from the 1997 to 2007 National Health Interview Survey.

The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, found more than 40 percent of adults ages 50-64 reported difficulty with at least one of nine physical functions — such as difficulty stooping, standing for two hours or walking one-quarter mile — and many reported problems with more than one function.

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