Slow Gait After Heart Attack Linked to Early Death, Readmission

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More than half of older adults have slow gait at 1 month after acute myocardial infarction.
More than half of older adults have slow gait at 1 month after acute myocardial infarction.

(HealthDay News) -- At 1 month after acute myocardial infarction (AMI), many older adults have slow gait, which is associated with increased risk of death or readmission at 1 year, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

John A. Dodson, MD, MPH, from New York University in New York City, and colleagues conducted an observational cohort study with longitudinal follow-up in 24 US hospitals. Three hundred thirty-eight older adults (aged 65 years and older) with in-home gait assessment at 1 month after AMI were enrolled.

The researchers found that 53.6% of participants had slow gait (<0.8 m/s); they were older, more likely to be female and nonwhite, and had increased prevalence of heart failure and diabetes mellitus. Compared to those with preserved gait, participants with slow gait were more likely to die or to be readmitted to the hospital within 1 year (35.4 versus 18.5%; P = 0.006). After adjustment for age, sex, and race, this correlation persisted (hazard ratio, 1.76; 95% confidence interval, 1.08 to 2.87); after adding clinical factors, the correlation was no longer significant (hazard ratio, 1.23; 95% confidence interval, 0.74 to 2.04).

"Slow gait, a marker of frailty, is common 1 month after AMI in older adults and is associated with nearly twice the risk of dying or hospital readmission at 1 year," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and health care industries.


  1. Dodson JA, Arnold SV, Gosch KL, et al. Slow Gait Speed and Risk of Mortality or Hospital Readmission After Myocardial Infarction in the Translational Research Investigating Underlying Disparities in Recovery from Acute Myocardial Infarction. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. doi:10.1111/jgs.14016.

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