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  • Lahti, Anna-Maria; Mikkola, Tuija M.; Salonen, Minna; Wasenius, Niko; Sarvimäki, Anneli; Eriksson, Johan G.; von Bonsdorff, Mikaela B. (2021)
    Senior houses provide social interaction and support, potentially supporting older people's physical and mental functioning. Few studies have investigated functioning of senior house residents. The aim was to compare functioning between senior house residents and community-dwelling older adults in Finland. We compared senior house residents (n = 336, 69% women, mean age 83 years) to community-dwelling older adults (n = 1139, 56% women, mean age 74 years). Physical and mental functioning were assessed using the SF 36-Item Health Survey. Loneliness and frequency of social contacts were self-reported. The analyses were adjusted for age, socioeconomic factors and diseases. Physical functioning was lower among men in senior houses compared to community-dwelling men (mean 41.1 vs. 46.4, p = 0.003). Mental functioning or the frequency of social contacts did not differ between type of residence in either sex. Loneliness was higher among women in senior houses compared to community-dwelling women (OR = 1.67, p = 0.027). This was not observed in men. Results suggest that women in senior houses had similar physical and mental functioning compared to community-dwelling women. Male senior house residents had poorer physical functioning compared to community-dwelling men. Women living in senior houses were lonelier than community-dwelling women despite the social environment.
  • Svard, Anna; Lahti, Jouni; Roos, Eira; Rahkonen, Ossi; Lahelma, Eero; Lallukka, Tea; Manty, Minna (2017)
    Background: Studies suggest an association between weight change and subsequent poor physical health functioning, whereas the association with mental health functioning is inconsistent. We aimed to examine whether obesity and change of body mass index among normal weight, overweight and obese women and men associate with changes in physical and mental health functioning. Methods: The Helsinki Health Study cohort includes Finnish municipal employees aged 40 to 60 in 2000-02 (phase 1, response rate 67%). Phase 2 mail survey (response rate 82%) took place in 2007 and phase 3 in 2012 (response rate 76%). This study included 5668 participants (82% women). Seven weight change categories were formed based on body mass index (BMI) (phase 1) and weight change (BMI change >= 5%) (phase 1-2). The Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) measured physical and mental health functioning. The change in health functioning (phase 1-3) score was examined with repeated measures analyses. Covariates were age, sociodemographic factors, health behaviours, and somatic ill-health. Results: Weight gain was common among women (34%) and men (25%). Weight-gaining normal weight (-1.3 points), overweight (-1.3 points) and obese (-3.6 points) women showed a greater decline in physical component summary scores than weight-maintaining normal weight women. Among weight-maintainers, only obese (-1.8 points) women showed a greater decline than weight-maintaining normal weight women. The associations were similar, but statistically non-significant for obese men. No statistically significant differences in the change in mental health functioning occurred. Conclusion: Preventing weight gain likely helps maintaining good physical health functioning and work ability.