A1 Journal article (refereed)
Hilliness and the Development of Walking Difficulties Among Community-Dwelling Older People (2020)

Keskinen, K. E., Rantakokko, M., Suomi, K., Rantanen, T., & Portegijs, E. (2020). Hilliness and the Development of Walking Difficulties Among Community-Dwelling Older People. Journal of Aging and Health, 32(5-6), 278-284. https://doi.org/10.1177/0898264318820448

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsKeskinen, Kirsi E.; Rantakokko, Merja; Suomi, Kimmo; Rantanen, Taina; Portegijs, Erja

Journal or seriesJournal of Aging and Health



Publication year2020


Issue number5-6

Pages range278-284

PublisherSage Publications, Inc.

Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/70095


Objective: The objective of this study is to study the associations of objectively defined hilliness with the prevalence and incidence of walking difficulties among community-dwelling older adults, and to explore whether behavioral, health, or socioeconomic factors would fully or partially explain these associations. Method: Baseline interviews (n = 848, 75-90 years) on difficulties in walking 500 m, frequency of moving through the neighborhood, and perceived hilliness as a barrier to outdoor mobility were conducted. Two-year follow-up interviews (n = 551) on difficulties in walking 500 m were conducted among participants without baseline walking difficulties. Hilliness objectively defined as the mean slope in 500-m road network. Results: Logistic regression showed that hilliness was associated with incident walking difficulties at the 2-year follow-up (odds ratio [OR] = 1.66, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [1.09, 2.51]) but not with the prevalence of walking difficulties at baseline. Adding behavioral, health, or socioeconomic factors to the models did not markedly change the results. Discussion: Greater hilliness should be considered a risk factor for developing walking difficulties among older adults.

Keywordsolder peopleelderlyability to moveresidential environmentlandformshills

Free keywordsslope; mobility limitation; aging; neighborhood; GIS

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2020

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 21:07