Global quality of life modifies terminal change in physical functioning among older adult women

Amit Shrira, Oleg Zaslavsky, Andrea Z. LaCroix, Rebecca Seguin, Stephen Post, Hilary Tindle, Melanie Hingle, Nancy Woods, Barbara Cochrane, Lorena Garcia, Eliezer Schnall, Eileen Rillamas-Sun, Yuval Palgi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: the factors that moderate decline in physical functioning as death approaches are understudied. This study aimed to assess death-related decline in global quality of life (QoL) and physical functioning and to test whether baseline QoL moderates terminal decline in physical functioning.Methods: four thousand six hundred and fifty-one decedents from the Women's Health Initiative Study (WHI) rated QoL and physical functioning each year throughout 5 years of follow-up.Results: both QoL and physical functioning showed a steeper decline as a function of years to death than as a function of chronological age. Moreover, decedents with higher QoL at baseline showed a less steep decline in physical functioning as death approached than those with lower QoL at baseline.Conclusion: although QoL strongly decreases across the terminal years, its beneficial influence on physical functioning is evident till the very end of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-524
Number of pages5
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The WHI program is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institute of Health, US. Department

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society. All rights reserved.


  • Global quality of life
  • Older people
  • Physical functioning
  • Terminal change
  • Women's Health Initiative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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