U.S. Health and Retirement Study

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ANN ARBOR, Mich., Aug. 8 Most U.S. adults over age 65 have cognitive impairment, falls, incontinence, low body mass index, dizziness, vision impairment or hearing impairment.

The University of Michigan Health System analyzed the responses of more than 11,000 participants in the U.S. Health and Retirement Study to determine whether the respondents had difficulty with activities of daily living — bathing, dressing, eating, toileting or transferring — and needed assistance to complete the tasks.

The findings, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that the seven conditions are very common in the adults over the age of 65 and increase dramatically as a person ages.

The researchers found a strong link between the conditions and dependence on the elderly on others to help with activities of daily living.

Under 3 percent of the survey participants without any of the geriatric conditions were dependent on others for help with activities, while 8 percent with one condition needed help, but 19.4 percent with two conditions needed assistance and 45 percent with three or more conditions needed assistance.

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