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Age Ageing. 2009 Sep;38(5):509-14. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afp093. Epub 2009 Jun 23.

Gait speed under varied challenges and cognitive decline in older persons: a prospective study.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA. nandinijd@yahoo.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

to examine whether usual gait speed, fast gait speed or speed while walking with a cognitive or neuromuscular challenge predicts evolving cognitive decline over 3 years.

DESIGN:

prospective study.

SETTING:

population-based sample of community-dwelling older persons.

PARTICIPANTS:

660 older participants (age > or = 65 years).

MEASUREMENTS:

usual gait speed, fastest gait speed, gait speed during 'walking-while-talking', depression, comorbidities, education, smoking and demographics were assessed at baseline. Cognition was evaluated at baseline and follow-up. A decline in MMSE score by > or = 3 points was considered as significant cognitive decline (SCD).

RESULTS:

adjusting for confounders, only fast speed was associated with cognitive performance at 3-year follow-up. One hundred thirty-five participants had SCD over 3 years. Participants in the lowest quartile of usual speed or walking-while-talking speed were more likely to develop SCD. Conversely, participants in the third and fourth quartiles of fast speed were more likely to develop SCD. J-test showed that the model including fast speed quartiles as a regressor was significantly more predictive of SCD than the models with usual speed or walking-while-talking speed quartiles.

CONCLUSION:

measuring fast gait speed in older persons may assist in identifying those at high risk of cognitive decline.

PMID:
19549981
PMCID:
PMC2729240
DOI:
10.1093/ageing/afp093
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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