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A life-course approach to physical functioning


In 1997, Kalache & Kickbusch published a report describing the Ageing and Health program of the World Health Organization (WHO).1 In this report they hypothesized that functional capacities, such as muscle strength and respiratory capacity, increase and reach a maximum during early adulthood and from there on decline during mid an older adulthood at a rate that differs according to levels of fitness. In this study, the aim is to verify what is shown in the figure – is there really a difference in the rate of decline in physical function for people with different fitness levels and how many years difference does this make to reaching the disability threshold?