Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Ultimate Crystal Ball?

It turns out the the speed you walk (gait speed) is predictive of so many things that folks are now calling it "The Sixth Vital Sign." But here's some funny: everybody is calling everything the sixth vital sign including:
  • Urinary continence
  • End-tidal CO2
  • Emotional distress
  • Spirometry
  • Glucose
  • Functional Status
  • Intracranial pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Molecular Genetics, in Oncology
Who will become the sixth, who knows? Some of these require a test in which the tester needs to be trained. Others are self-reported and we lie. But gait speed requires a stopwatch and 2 meters of hallway. Then just read the gait speed tea leaves! 
Here's a full explanation I wrote recently!
Here's another version!

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