Did you know posture plays a big role in your life?
Posture has been shown to be especially important as a person ages. Kado and other researchers in their study found that an older person who does not have a dowager’s hump has a greater chance of living a longer life than an older person with a dowager’s hump.
It was also found that the larger/greater the dowager’s hump, the greater the chance of that person passing away. What’s interesting was there was not a relationship found between osteoporosis and mortality. However, there was an association found between a person having a dowager’s hump and atherosclerosis*.
What’s a dowager’s hump? It is considered an abnormal outward curvature of the thoracic vertebrae in the upper back. The area can also be called hyperkyphotic. It is considered preventable in the medical community. One of the ways it can be prevented in through chiropractic care!
While an older person can be seen for care to help with posture, it is always a good idea to be proactive instead of reactive. Always make sure to take care of your posture because it affects your life in a multitude of ways.
* Atherosclerosis is hardening and narrowing of the arteries. Overtime, it silently and slowly blocks arteries and causes a decrease in blood flow. Atherosclerosis has been associated with strokes, heart attacks, and peripheral vascular disease. According to WebMD, one of the causes of atherosclerosis is damage to the blood vessels due to high blood pressure.
Here are more details about the research:
Kado DM, Huang M, Karlamangla AS, Barrett-Connor E, Greendale GA. Hyperkyphotic posture predicts mortality in older community-dwelling men and women: A prospective study. 2004. JAGS;52:1662-1667.
A group of older men and women were studied. They were separated into two groups. Group 1 had no hyperkyphosis. Group 2 had a hyperkyphotic posture. Group 2 was subdivided into levels of severity of the hyperkyphosis. It was found that older men and women have an increase mortality rate when they have hyperkyphotic posture compared to those with normal posture. Also, the more severe the hyperkyphosis, the greater the increase of mortality. There were more older men than women who had hyperkyphotic posture. Overall, older men with hyperkyphosis had the lowest survival rate compared to everyone else in the study. Older women with hyperkyphosis had a lower survival rate than older women without hyperkyphosis. There did not appear to be a relationship between osteoporosis and mortality rate.
There was a weak association between hyperkyphosis and pulmonary related deaths.
However, there was a strong association between hyperkyphosis and atherosclerosis. It is hypothesized this strong association is due to a possible underlying pathology that connects hyperkyphosis and atherosclerosis together. It had been found in another study mice that aged prematurely had evidence of both hyperkyphosis and atherosclerosis.