Robertson DA, Savva GM, Coen RF, Kenny RA

J Am Geriatr Soc 2014;62:2118-2124

Publication date: November 1, 2014


The objective of this study by Robertson et al. was to explore the relationship between cognitive function and frailty. Individuals aged 50 and older without a history of stroke, Parkinson’s disease or severe cognitive impairment (Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score <18) and not taking antidepressants (n = 4,649) were included in this cross-sectional study conducted in the Republic of Ireland.

After full adjustment, cognitive function was significantly worse in prefrail and frail participants (P < 0.05) than in those who were robust. Weakness and walking speed were most consistently linked to poorer cognition, whereas low activity and weight loss were not independently associated with any cognitive domain. Exhaustion was associated with global cognition (B = -0.18 ± 0.06), with some evidence of links to objectively measured and self-rated memory.

Cognitive function is worse across multiple cognitive domains in prefrail and frail individuals aged 50 and older than in those who are robust, although the absolute differences are small after adjustment for confounding factors.


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