Cardiopulmonary MedicineOriginal Article

Age-Related Decline in Chest Wall Mobility: A Cross-Sectional Study Among Community-Dwelling Elderly Women

Daiki Adachi, RPT, BS; Minoru Yamada, PhD; Shu Nishiguchi, RPT, MSc; Naoto Fukutani, RPT, MSc; Takayuki Hotta, RPT, BS; Yuto Tashiro, RPT, BS; Saori Morino, RPT, BS; Hidehiko Shirooka, RPT, BS; Yuma Nozaki, RPT, BS; Hinako Hirata, RPT, BS; Moe Yamaguchi, RPT, BS; and Tomoki Aoyama, MD, PhD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Accepted: December 22, 2014

Published: June 1, 2015

J Osteopath Med; 115(6): 384-389

Context: Chest wall mobility is strongly related to respiratory function; however, the effect of aging on chest wall mobility—and the level at which this mobility is most affected—remains unclear.

Objectives: To investigate age-related differences in chest wall mobility and respiratory function among elderly women in different age groups.

Methods: This cross-sectional observational study was performed in Himeji City in Hyogo Prefecture and Ayabe City in Kyoto Prefecture in Japan. Inclusion criteria were female sex, age 65 years or older, community resident, and ability to ambulate independently, with or without an assistive device. Thoracic excursion at the axillary and xiphoid levels and at the level of the tenth rib was measured with measuring tape. Respiratory function, including forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), was assessed by spirometry, and FVC percent predicted (%FVC), FEV1 percent predicted (%FEV1), and FEV1/FVC were calculated. Chest wall mobility and respiratory function were compared among 4 age groups.

Results: Of 251 potential participants, 132 met the inclusion criteria. Participants were divided into 4 age groups: group 1, 65 to 69 years; group 2, 70 to 74 years; group 3, 75 to 79 years; and group 4, 80 years or older. Statistically significant differences were found in thoracic excursion at the axillary level between groups 1 and 4 and between groups 2 and 4 when adjusted for height and weight (F4.52, P=.01). In addition, statistically significant differences were found in the FVC and FEV1 values between groups 1 and 3 and between groups 2 and 3 (FVC: F4.97, P=.01; FEV1: F6.17, P=.01).

Conclusions: Chest wall mobility at the axillary level and respiratory function decreased with age in community-dwelling women aged 65 years or older. Further longitudinal studies are required to clarify the effects of aging on chest wall mobility and respiratory function.

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