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Gait speed is an easily obtained ‘vital sign’ that accurately identifies frailty and predicts survival and unplanned hospital visits regardless of age, cancer or treatment type, or other factors among older patients with hematologic cancers, according to a new study published June 5, 2019 in the journal Blood. This association was found to be strongest in those with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
For every 0.1 meter per second decrease in gait speed, the risk of dying, unexpectedly going to the hospital, or ending up in the emergency room increased by 22%, 33% and 34%, respectively.
Every 5 kg decrease in grip strength was associated with worse survival), but not hospital or ED use.
Monitoring gait speed not only helps to recognize individuals who are frail and may fare worse, it also identifies people who are in much better shape than expected based on age alone.
Researchers suggest that gait speed should be used as a routine part of medical assessments along with other vital signs to improve patient assessment, prognostication and individualization of care.
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA