Frailty and cognitive impairment among community-dwelling elderly

Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2013 Jun;71(6):362-7. doi: 10.1590/0004-282X20130039.


The aim was to evaluate associations between frailty status and cognitive decline and the incidence of cognitive impairment over 12-month period. Two hundred seven older adults were assessed. Frailty was defined as having at least three of the following criteria: weight loss, weakness, exhaustion, slowness, and low level of activity. Cognitive decline was assessed using the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Clinical Dementia Rating Scale (CDR). Relative risk (RR) was calculated with a 95% confidence interval (CI). Frailty was associated with subsequent cognitive decline in 12-month when assessed using the MMSE (p=;0.005; RR=;4.6; 95%CI 1.93-11.2). No association was found between frailty and cognitive decline measured by the CDR (p=;0.393; RR=;2.1; 95%CI 0.68-6.7) or between frailty and the incidence of cognitive impairment (p=;0.675; RR=;1.2; 95%CI 0.18-8.3). These findings reveal an association between frailty and subsequent cognitive decline when measured by the MMSE, even within a short period of time.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Dementia / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly / psychology*
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Male
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Time Factors