Is physical activity the major determinant of healthy ageing and does it prevent ageing-related inflammation and frailty?

Research Summary

The aims of this study are to generate evidence that maintenance of an active lifestyle is the major determinant ofhealthy ageing and can reduce the development of frailty and subsequent chronic disease. Frailty expresses itself asthe reduced capacity to cope with physical and psychological stress and is characterized by loss of bodily functions.We will measure muscle strength/oxidative capacity bone mass/density immune cardiovascular and cognitivefunction. Inflammation cytomegalovirusinfection and vitamin D deficiency have been suggested to lead to frailty butprimarily in those that adopt an increasingly sedentary lifestyle in the second half of lifespan. Frailty severely reducesthe ability to lead an independent life and quality of life. Health care costs for treatment of the associated medicalcomplications are enormous. Therefore the planned research is important.Part one of the study is a 2yearexplorative association study. 600 ‘Healthy’ elderly individuals in the age range of 6080will be recruited from GP practices in Birmingham. The mentioned bodily functions and qualitative indicators of frailtywill be measured. Small movement monitors will be worn for 7 days to measure physical activity levels. A researchnurse will take a blood sample and markers of metabolic health inflammation oxidative stress virus infection vitaminD status and immune function will be measured. For participants this will take < 3 weeks and involves two half days inHospital/University laboratories providing a comfortable atmosphere and optimal safety for elderly volunteers. In part 2of the study those in the lowest and highest physical activity quintile will be asked to come back within 36months for a2hourlab visit to volunteer for a second blood sample for specialized immune system measurements and a musclebiopsy to investigate molecular mechanisms that lead to muscle atrophy weakness and loss of oxidative capacity.

Research Overview
PI Name Goodman - M
Sponsor University of Birmingham
Project Status Open
Proposed End Date 30/04/2013
Study Run through CRF? Yes
Recruitment so far 4