Middle-aged and older individuals who are unable to complete a 10-second one-legged stance test may experience a higher risk of all-cause mortality, according to published results.
“The advantages of the 10-second one-legged stance test include that it is simple, and it provides rapid, safe and objective feedback for the patient and health care providers regarding static balance,” Claudio Gil Araujo, MD, PhD, told Healio. “It can be easily incorporated into the routine of most clinical consultations, especially for those older than 50 years of age. Importantly, the results of the 10-second one-legged stance test add useful information regarding mortality risk in middle-aged and older men and women beyond ordinary clinical data.”
Araujo, Setor K. Kunutsor, BSc (Legon), MBChB (Legon), MPhil (Cantab.), PhD (Cantab.), and colleagues assessed anthropometric and clinical data, vital status and 10-second one-legged stance data in 1,702 participants aged 51 to 75 years between 2008 and 2020. Researchers used log-rank and Cox modeling to compare survival curves and risk of death according to the ability or inability to complete the 10-second one-legged stance test.
Claudio Gil Araujo
Results showed 20.4% of participants were unable to complete the 10-second one-legged stance test. During a mean follow-up of 7 years, researchers found 7.2% of participants died. Of these participants, 4.6% were able and 17.5% were unable to complete the 10-second one-legged stance test. Researchers also noted participants unable to complete the 10-second one-legged stance test had worse survival curves.
Participants unable to complete the 10-second one-legged stance test had higher hazard ratios, according to an adjusted model that incorporated age, sex, BMI and comorbidities. Differences in –2 log likelihood and integrated discrimination improvement showed a significant improvement in mortality risk prediction after the addition of the 10-second one-legged stance test to a model containing established risk factors.
“Balance training is rather simple and easy to incorporate in a patient’s daily routine. Even to stand on your leg, change to the other after 10 seconds and repeat twice just before opening your front door could be helpful,” Araujo said. “Orthopedic surgeons know that many of the relevant falls (and their related fractures) in older patients are, at least, partially due to poor balance. Let’s incorporate the 10-second one-legged stance test in our consultations and advise our patients to undertake balance training.”