Association between respiratory capacity, quality of life and cognitive function in elderly individuals

ABSTRACT Objective To investigate associations between respiratory capacity, quality of life and cognitive function in elderly individuals. Methods The sample included 386 elderly individuals (232 women). Respiratory capacity assessment was based on maximal expiratory pressure measured at peak expiratory flow. Subjects were classified according to peak expiratory flow values adjusted for sex, age and height of individuals with normal (peak expiratory flow curve <80% and >60%) or reduced (peak expiratory flow curve < 60%) respiratory capacity. The World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire and the Mini-Mental State Examination were used to assess quality of life and cognitive function, respectively. Results Elderly women with reduced respiratory capacity scored lower on the Mini-Mental State Examination (p=0.048) and quality of life questionnaire (p=0.040) compared to those with normal respiratory capacity. These differences were not observed in men (p>0.05). Conclusion Reduced respiratory capacity was associated with poorer quality of life and cognitive function in elderly women. These associations were not observed in elderly men.