Oxford University Press (OUP), The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 2020
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Abstract Background Physical performance is an important factor for successful aging. This study aimed to identify distinct trajectories of multiple physical performance measures over 9 years in individuals aged 60–70 years and to evaluate their characteristics and the overlap between measures. Methods Four physical performance measures were assessed in 440 participants of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam: tandem stand, gait speed, chair stand, and handgrip strength. Gender-specific latent class models were conducted to obtain distinct trajectories and their degree of overlap. Results Mean age at baseline was 67.9 (SD 1.7) years for males and 68.0 (SD 1.7) years for females. The optimal number of trajectories differed across measures. For tandem stand, no distinct trajectories were found (all 179 males, 198 females). For gait speed, three trajectories were identified, dependent on baseline speed: high-stable (47 males, 27 females), intermediate-stable (132 males, 130 females), and low-declining performance (6 males, 48 females). Two trajectories were identified for the chair stand: a stable (168 males, 150 females) and declining trajectory (10 males, 38 females). For handgrip strength, three declining trajectories were identified differing in baseline performance: high (55 males, 75 females), intermediate (111 males, 118 females), and low (17 males, 10 females). Overall, 11.9% of males and 5.7% of females were classified in similar trajectories across measures. Conclusions Trajectories of physical performance were heterogeneous, but showed similar patterns for males and females. Little overlap between measures was shown, suggesting different mechanisms for decline. This study emphasizes the use of multiple domains to assess physical performance.