JC Community eHealth Care Project
Better understand the concept of Healthy Ageing and Intrinsic Capacity (IC)
Our researchers found three distinct IC trajectories among community-dwelling older Chinese adults. The class with the highest level of baseline IC and the least declining trajectory was more likely to preserve functional ability. Monitoring IC trajectories is of relevance to clinical practice.
Intrinsic capacity (IC) declines progressively with age, thereby increasing the risk of disability. However, it is less known whether IC trajectories are associated with disability. This study aims to identify the different patterns of IC trajectories in older people, and examine their determinants and associations with Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL).
Community centres in different regions in Hong Kong.
Participants and Measurements
Longitudinal data from community-dwelling older people aged 60 years or above (n = 1371) collected between 2016 and 2021 was analysed. Their mean age was 74.5 years, and 78.7% of them were female. Repeated measurements of a set of 14 self-reported items were used to generate IC scores at four time points using a bi-factor model. Latent class growth analysis was performed to identify classes with distinct IC trajectories. The association between class membership and IADL disability was then examined using logistic regression.
Three distinct IC trajectories were identified. The 1st class included those with the highest level of baseline IC and the least declining trajectory, whereas the 3rd class was composed by those with the lowest level of baseline IC and the most declining trajectory. Older age, female gender, lower perceived financial adequacy, living in public or subsidized housing, and chronic diseases were associated with the 3rd class. After adjusting for demographic factors, socioeconomic status, and the number of chronic diseases, the 1st class was more likely to preserve IADL when compared against the 2nd class, with OR being 3.179 (95% CI: 2.152–4.793), whereas for the 3rd class, the OR was 0.253 (95% CI: 0.178–0.359).
Monitoring IC trajectories is of relevance to clinical practice, as it helps shift the focus from treating acute episodes of illness to preserving the functional ability of older people.
The paper Trajectories of Intrinsic Capacity: Determinants and Associations with Disability can be read in full on the The Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging journal website.