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The shape of an individual's spinal column may predict his or her risk for nursing home admission or need of home assistance in old age, according to a new article published online in the Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences.
A team of researchers based in Japan discovered that the trunk angle of inclination -- the angle between the true vertical and a straight line from the first thoracic vertebra to the first sacral vertebra (view image) -- is associated with becoming dependent on help for activities of daily living (ADL). These activities include such basic self-care tasks as bathing, feeding, toileting, maintaining continence, dressing, and transferring in or out of a bed or chair.
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