Iranian Journal of Public Health 2018. 47(5):666-673.

Effect of Age and Sex on Gait Characteristics in the Korean Elderly People
Yang Sun PARK, Ji-Won KIM, Yuri KWON, Moon-Seok KWON



Background: Incidence of falling in the older-elderly is higher than that of the younger-elderly. In addition, falls occur more in elderly women than in elderly men. However, it is unclear whether age and sex-specific differences exist in gait characteristics of the elderly. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate age- and sex-related differences in gait characteristics of the Korean elderly people.

Methods: A total of 75 younger-elderly subjects (age of 65-74 yr; 21 men and 54 women) and 59 older-elderly subjects (age of 75-90 yr; 15 men and 44 women) participated in this study in 2014. All participants walked a distance of 8 m across a GaitRite walkway with self-selected speed. The effects of age and sex on spatiotemporal gait variables in the Korean elderly people were analyzed before and after adjusting height as covariate.

Results: The older-elderly group slowly walked with shorter stride length (P<0.05) and step length (P<0.05) compared to the younger-elderly, regardless of their height. There was no significant sex difference after adjusting height as covariate, although elderly women walked with shorter stride length (P<0.01) and step length (P<0.01) than elderly men. The elderly women group walked with more variable stride time (P<0.05) and with longer double support (P<0.01).

Conclusion: Age-related changes and sex difference among the elderly existed in specific gait variables. Characterizing gait patterns of the Korean elderly people considering both age and sex would be beneficial to assess gait of the elderly with risk of falls for fall interventions.



Gait, Age-related difference, Sex difference, Elderly fall

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