Physical performance and longevity in aged rats

Academic Article


  • In humans, physical performance declines with increasing age, and in nondisabled older persons, scores on standardized performance measures, such as walking speed, repeated chair stands, and a balance test, predict the incidence of disability and reduced longevity. Here we show in aged rats (24-month-old Brown Norway X Fischer 344 male rats; n = 48) that conceptually similar performance measures, such as swimming speed and an inclined plane procedure, can be assessed longitudinally, and that over 6 months of follow-up from the age of 24 to 30 months, performance declines progressively with increasing age. High baseline performance scores predict long-term longevity, a relationship that is also found in humans. The application of standardized physical performance measures to a variety of animal models of aging may help to define similarities between species in the underlying mechanisms of the age-related decline in performance, disability, and longevity.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Carter CS; Sonntag WE; Onder G; Pahor M
  • Volume

  • 57
  • Issue

  • 5