Undiagnosed Dementia Is Associated with Poor Physical Function in Older Adults.

TitleUndiagnosed Dementia Is Associated with Poor Physical Function in Older Adults.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsMcGrath, R, Robinson-Lane, SG, Klawitter, L, Rhee, Y, Hamm, JM, McCourt, ME, Parker, K, Hackney, KJ
JournalJournal of Alzheimers Disease
Date Published2022
ISSN Number1875-8908
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Cognitive Dysfunction, Dementia, Hand Strength, walking speed

BACKGROUND: Older adults with a cognitive impairment, including those not yet diagnosed, may have deficits in their physical function.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine the associations of cognitive impairment consistent with dementia (CICD) diagnosis status on handgrip strength, gait speed, and functional disability in older adults.


p>METHODS: The analytical sample included 8,383 adults aged ≥65-years without history of stroke, cancers, neurological conditions, or brain damage who participated in at least one-wave of the 2010-2016 waves of the Health and Retirement Study. A handgrip dynamometer measured handgrip strength. Men with handgrip strength <26 kg and women <16 kg were weak. Gait speed was timed across a 2.5-m course and those with slowness had gait speed <0.8 m/s. Participants with difficulty or an inability in completing any basic activities of daily living had a functional disability. The adapted Telephone Interview of Cognitive Status evaluated cognitive function. Persons with scores <7 had a CICD. Healthcare provider dementia-related diagnosis was self-reported. Undiagnosed CICD was defined as no reported dementia-related diagnosis but had CICD, while diagnosed CICD was classified as reporting a dementia-related diagnosis. Covariate-adjusted logistic models were used for the analyses.

RESULTS: Persons with undiagnosed CICD had 1.37 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.04-1.80) greater odds for weakness and 2.02 (CI: 1.39-2.94) greater odds for slow gait speed. Older adults with diagnosed CICD had 2.29 (CI: 1.32-3.97) greater odds for slowness and 1.85 (CI: 1.19-2.90) greater odds for functional disability.

CONCLUSION: Screening for CICD could be recommended when defects in physical function are observed in older adults.

Citation Key12736
PubMed ID35912741