Disability in basic and instrumental activities of daily living is associated with faster rate of decline in cognitive function of older adults

Kumar Rajan, Liesi E. Hebert, Paul A. Scherr, Carlos F. Mendes De Leon, Denis A. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background.The purpose of this study is to examine whether physical disability is associated with faster rate of decline in cognitive function.Methods.A longitudinal population-based cohort of 6,678 initially nondisabled older adults from a biracial urban community was interviewed at 3-year intervals from 1993 to 2012. Cognitive function was assessed using a standardized global cognitive score, and physical disabilities using activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL).Results.During the follow-up period, 2,450 of 6,678 participants (37%) developed ADL and 2,069 of 4,287 participants (48%) developed IADL disability. After adjusting for demographic and physiologic confounders, cognitive function declined a mean of 0.048 unit per year before ADL disability and 0.047 unit per year before IADL disability. In comparison, the rate of cognitive decline accelerated further by 0.076 unit per year (156% increase) after ADL disability and 0.054 unit per year (115% increase) after IADL disability. Severity of ADL and IADL disabilities were also associated with faster cognitive decline following disability.Conclusions.In old age, cognitive function declines substantially faster following physical disability even after controlling for demographic and physiologic characteristics of participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)624-630
Number of pages7
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume68
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Activities of daily living
  • Cognitive decline
  • Instrumental activities of daily living
  • Physical disability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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