Objective: To examine the associations of serum albumin, a nutrition indicator, with disability in activities of daily living (ADL), mobility, and objective physical functioning among Chinese older adults. Materials and Methods: Cross-sectional data of 2233 older adults (≥65 years) who participated in the 2011/2012 main survey of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) and the 2012 biomarker sub-study was used. Serum albumin was measured by immunoturbidimetric assay. Physical functioning included subjectively (ADL and mobility) and objectively measured disability (standing up from a chair, picking up a book from the floor, and turning around 360°). Multivariable logistic regression models were performed. Results: After adjusting for age and sex, compared with participants in the lowest quartile group of serum albumin, those in the highest quartile group had 45% lower odds of disability in ADL (odds ratio [OR]: 0.55; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.38, 0.80); 48% lower odds of disability in mobility (OR: 0.52; 95% CI: 0.38, 0.71); 46% lower odds of disability in standing up from a chair (OR: 0.54; 95% CI: 0.34, 0.85); and 37% lower odds of disability in picking up a book from the floor (OR: 0.63; 95% CI: 0.40, 0.97). We did not observe a statistically significant interaction effect between serum albumin and vitamin D on disability in physical functioning. Conclusion: Serum albumin level was associated with physical functioning among Chinese older adults, regardless of vitamin D level. The findings indicate that appropriate management of poor nutritional status, in particular low serum albumin levels, may contribute to maintaining physical functioning in older adults.
- activities of daily living
- objective physical functioning
- older adult
- serum albumin