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Journal Article


Mendoza-Núñez VM, González-Mantilla F, Correa-Muñoz E, Retana-Ugalde R. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017; 14(9): e14090993.


Unidad de Investigación en Gerontología, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Zaragoza, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Guelatao N° 66, Col. Ejército de Oriente, 09230 Mexico City, Mexico.


(Copyright © 2017, MDPI: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)






Some studies have demonstrated the relationship between social support networks (SSNs) and health status. In this sense, it has been considered that physical and mental functioning is a key indicator of the health in the age people. The aim of this study was to determine the association between social support networks and physical functioning. A cross-sectional study was carried out including a convenience sample of 150 older community-dwelling Mexicans. We assessed the familial, extra-familial and institutional SSNs; social contacts; the activities of daily living (ADL); the instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs); and physical functioning task (PFT) performance among study participants. Of the 150 older subjects, 53 reported living alone (35%), 113 (75%) reported having few SSNs, and 37 (25%) reported having enough SSNs. Persons with few familial SSNs were at increased odds of demonstrating dependence in at least one of the ADL (OR = 3.25, 95% CI 1.06-9.92, p < 0.05). Likewise, persons with few institutional SSNs and few social contacts were at increased odds of demonstrating dependence in at least one of the IADL (OR = 6.96, 95% CI 1.57-30.7, p < 0.01; OR = 5.02, 95% CI 1.44-17.5, p < 0.01, respectively). We also observed that having few extra-familial SSNs and few social contacts were the main risk factors for PFT dependence, with ORs of 3.70 (95% CI 1.21-11.2, p < 0.05) and 3.85 (95% CI 1.10-13.5, p < 0.05), respectively. Our findings suggest that having few SSNs could be a significant risk factor for reduced physical functioning in older adults.

Language: en


Mexican older people; healthy ageing; physical functioning; social support networks


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