Gait speed has comparable prognostic capability to six-minute walk distance in older patients with cardiovascular disease

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Abstract

Background

Although gait speed and six-minute walk distance are used to assess functional capacity in older patients with cardiovascular disease, their prognostic capabilities have not been directly compared.

Methods

The study population was identified from the Kitasato University Cardiac Rehabilitation Database and consisted of 1474 patients ≥60 years old with a mean age of 72.2 ± 7.1 years that underwent evaluation of both usual gait speed and six-minute walk distance in routine geriatric assessment between 1 June 2008–30 September 2015. Both gait speed and six-minute walk distance were determined on the same day at hospital discharge.

Results

Mean gait speed and six-minute walk distance in the whole population were 1.04 m/s and 381 m, respectively, and were strongly positively correlated (r = 0.80, p < 0.001). A total of 180 deaths occurred during a follow-up of 2.3 ± 1.9 years. After adjusting for confounding factors, both gait speed (adjusted hazard ratio per 0.1 m/s increase: 0.87, 95% confidence interval: 0.81–0.93, p < 0.001) and six-minute walk distance (adjusted hazard ratio per 10-metre increase: 0.96, 95% confidence interval: 0.94–0.97, p < 0.001) were independent predictors of all-cause mortality. There was no significant difference in prognostic capability between gait speed and six-minute walk distance (c-index: 0.64 (95% confidence interval: 0.60–0.69) and 0.66 (95% confidence interval: 0.61–0.70), respectively, p = 0.357).

Conclusions

Gait speed and six-minute walk distance showed similar prognostic predictive ability for all-cause mortality in older cardiovascular disease patients, indicating the potential utility of gait speed as a simple risk stratification tool in older cardiovascular disease patients.

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