Searching for Stability as we Age: The PCA-Biplot Approach
Keywords:Gait, Principal Components Analysis, Biplot, Elderly, Balance, Step Length
Principal component analysis (PCA) has been successfully applied to gait data; however, interpretation of the components is challenging. An alternative is to use a graphical display called biplot that gives insights into relationships and trends of data sets. Our goal was to demonstrate the sensitivity of gait variables to aging in elderly women with PCA-biplot. One hundred fifty-one elderly females (71.6±5.0 yrs), 152 adults (44.7±5.4 yrs) and 150 young (21.7±4.1 yrs) participated in the study. Gait spatial and temporal parameters were collected using a computerized carpet. PCA-biplot, discriminant analysis and MANOVA were used in the analysis. PCA-biplot revealed that elderly females walked with lower velocity, shorter step length, reduced swing time, higher cadence, and increased double support time compared to the other two groups. The greatest distances between the groups were along the variable step length with the elderly group showing a decrease of 8.4 cm in relation to the younger group. The discriminant function confirmed the importance of principal component 2 for group separation. Because principal component 2 was heavily weighted by step length and swing time, it represents a measure of stability. As women age they seek a more stable gait by decreasing step length, swing time, and velocity. PCA-biplot highlighted the importance of the variable step length in distinguishing between women of different age groups. It is well-known that as we age we seek a more stable gait. The PCA-biplot emphasized that premise and gave further important insights into relationships and trends of this complex data set.
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Copyright (c) 2013 Renata Noce Kirkwood, Scott C.E. Brandon, Bruno de Souza Moreira, Kevin J. Deluzio
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