Main Article Content

Seonho Kim
Dallong Han
Jongeun Lee


Activity of daily living, Disability, Elderly, Prevalence


Background and Objective
Societal aging and increasing average life expectancy have led to a significant increase in the population of individuals aged 75 years or above. Hence, it is becoming more meaningful and appropriate for researchers to divide those above the age of 65 years into various subgroups, such as young-old and old-old. Based on this division, we investigated the prevalence and correlates of impairments in activities of daily living (ADLs) among community-dwelling older adults (young-old vs. old-old) in South Korea.

Material and Methods
This was a cross-sectional study. We used the data of 4,368 older adults (≥65 years old) from the 2012 Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging. ADL impairment was assessed using a modified version of the Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living.

The prevalence of ADL impairment was greater in old-old participants (12.7%) than in young-old ones (3.0%). ADL impairment was significantly associated with gender, perceived health status, regular exercise, cognitive function, and depressive symptoms in young-old individuals. By contrast, in old-old individuals, the significant predictors were residential area, socioeconomic status, perceived health status, regular exercise, cognitive function, and depressive symptoms. Among both age subgroups, cognitive function was the strongest predictive factor of ADL impairment.

We found clear age differences in the prevalence and correlates of ADL impairment in older Koreans. Such age differences should be considered when studying and developing interventions for ADL impairment in older adults.


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