Correlation between Frailty and Cognitive Function in Non-Demented Community Dwelling Older Koreans

Sun Kim, Jun Li Park, Hwan Sik Hwang, Yeon Pyo Kim
Korean Journal of Family Medicine 2014, 35 (6): 309-20

BACKGROUND: Frailty and cognitive impairment are considered the most common and yet least understood conditions in older adults. This study was conducted to investigate the correlation between frailty and cognitive function in non-demented older Koreans.

METHODS: Korean Mini-Mental Status Examination (K-MMSE) scores and Cardiovascular Health Study Frailty Indices were obtained for 486 older adults aged 65 and over who registered at six senior welfare centers in Seoul and Gyeonggi province. Multiple linear regression was performed to identify the association between frailty and K-MMSE scores.

RESULTS: Of the 486 older adults, 206 (42.4%) were robust, 244 (50.2%) were prefrail, and 36 (7.4%) were frail. Prevalence of cognitive impairment (K-MMSE ≤ 23) was 6.3% in the robust group, 16.8% in the prefrail group, and 30.6% in the frail group (P < 0.001), and mean K-MMSE score was 27.5 ± 2.2, 26.5 ± 3.1, and 23.7 ± 5.3, respectively (P < 0.001). Frailty tended to be associated with lower MMSE scores (B = -1.92, standard error, 0.52; P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Frailty was found to be correlated with cognitive impairment in non-demented older Koreans. However, further cohort studies are required to determine the association between frailty and cognitive function.

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