Prevalence of Falls, Physical Performance, and Dual-Task Cost While Walking in Older Adults at High Risk of Falling with and Without Cognitive Impairment

Clinical Interventions in Aging
Fuzhong Li, Peter Harmer


To compare the prevalence of falls, physical performance, and dual-task cost during walking between cognitively healthy and impaired older adults at high risk of falling. A cross-sectional analysis of 670 community-dwelling older adults who were considered at high risk of falling, operationalized as 1) having fallen at least once in the preceding 12 months and having a health-care practitioner's referral indicating that the participant was at risk of falls or 2) having impaired mobility as evidenced by a Timed Up and Go (TUG) result ≥13.5 s. Participants (mean age = 77.7 years, SD = 5.6) were divided into cognitively healthy (n = 461) or cognitively impaired (n = 209) groups using a cutoff score of <23 on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment test. Assessment included self-reported number of falls over the previous 12 months, functional reach, TUG, Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), and single- and dual-task walk performance. Data were analyzed using Poisson regression to estimate the prevalence ratios of falls and analysis of variance to examine between-group differences on physical performance and dual-task cost during walking performance. In the analysis, 82.3% of older adults with cognitive impairment and 69.4% of unimp...Continue Reading


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