Spontaneous Body Sway as a Function of Sex, Age, and Vision: Posturographic Study in 30 Healthy AdultsKollegger H. · Baumgartner C. · Wöber C. · Oder W. · Deecke L.
Neurological Clinic, University of Vienna, Austria
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Article / Publication Details
Detailed neurological examinations and body sway measurements with a stable force measuring platform were carried out on 30 healthy adults between 21 and 63 years of age. The results were analyzed for sex- and age-associated changes with regard to three different sway components (total sway, anterioposterior sway, lateral sway) and two different conditions (eyes open, eyes closed). Sex-associated differences were highly significant for all sway components in the oldest age group (51–65 years) in which men exhibited more spontaneous postural sway than women in the condition eyes open. With eyes closed these differences increased. Middle-aged men (36-50 years) also exhibited significantly more postural sway than women of the same age. In the condition eyes open especially total sway and anterioposterior sway were increased, whereas in the condition eyes closed total sway and lateral sway were predominantly higher in men than in women. In the youngest age group (21–35 years) no sex-related differences in postural sway were found. Age-associated differences were significant for anterioposterior sway (eyes open) in men, increasing continuously from the young to the middle-aged, and again from the middle-aged to the older age group. Anterioposterior sway in women, on the contrary, did not change with age. Age-associated differences in women were found for total sway (eyes open) and lateral sway (eyes closed). However, the highest values for total sway and lateral sway within the female group were obtained from young women in both conditions eyes open and eyes closed. The absence of visual control (eyes closed) in men significantly increased all sway parameters but one: lateral sway in middle-aged men. In women visual control acted as a stabilizing factor for most sway parameters, but there were three exceptions. Lateral sway in young and anterioposterior sway in old women were not significantly stabilized by vision. Lateral sway in middle-aged women was the only sway parameter that was found to be diminished when visual control was absent. The results of our posturographic study show that aging has a much more destabilizing effect on postural sway in men than in women. Furthermore, we found that vision as a stabilizing factor is in all age groups more important for men than for women.
© 1992 S. Karger AG, Basel
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