Physical assessment as a predictor of mortality in people with Parkinson's disease: a study over 7 years

William Gray, Anthony Hildreth, Julie Bilclough, Brian Wood, Katherine Baker, Richard W. Walker

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18 Citations (Scopus)


The primary aim of this study was to ascertain whether a battery of physical function measures in a Parkinson's disease (PD) patient cohort predicted mortality status at 7-year follow-up. Secondary aims were establishing which specific tests were the most useful, and whether PD phenotype was a predictor. A retrospective correlation design was used in this study. A cohort of 109 PD patients underwent baseline physiotherapy assessment of gait, balance, posture, muscle strength, and ability to change postural set. We compared mortality status at 7-year follow-up and baseline physical assessment tests. Tinetti gait and balance scores, UPDRS score, 10-m walk test (time, velocity, and number of strides), posture in standing, lying to sitting, sitting to standing, getting up from floor assessments, and time to ascend and descend four steps were found to be statistically significant physical predictors of mortality at 7-year follow-up. In addition, age, sex, and mini-mental state examination were significant nonphysical predictors of mortality. Using Cox regression, a survival model was constructed with age, sex, and Tinetti gait score as independent predictors of mortality. The results of this study suggest that there is a link between reduced physical function and an increased mortality risk in PD populations. (c) 2009 Movement Disorders Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1934-1940
JournalMovement Disorders: Official Journal of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


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