Balance test shows risk of death: Study

Press/Media: Expert Comment


The inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds in mid-to-later life has been linked to a near doubling in mortality risk within the next decade...

Chair of RACGP Expert Committee – Quality Care Professor Mark Morgan described the study’s findings as ‘fascinating’.
‘Standing on one leg measures some aspects of vision, proprioception, balance and strength so it is a composite measure of function,’ he told newsGP.
‘The people who could not stand on one leg were older and more likely to have diabetes, obesity, or cardiovascular risks … [and had] higher death rates from all sorts of causes.
‘In this group, deaths were 32% cancer, 30% cardiovascular, 9% respiratory and 7% COVID-19.’
However, Professor Morgan was less certain about the researchers’ call for the test to be used in routine health checks later in life.
‘It is unclear how the outcome of the test would be used in clinical practice,’ he said.
‘For a screening test to be recommended it should be detecting a risk factor or a disease at an early stage in which there is some clear intervention available. This test does not meet points seven, eight and possibly nine in the Wilson criteria. ‘I would like to see some more work done to find out how the test could add value and influence clinical decision-making.
‘In the meantime, it is a really interesting observation akin to the association between ear lobe creases and cardiovascular disease.’


Novel predictor of death

Standing balance test

Period23 Jun 2022

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