Walking speed, cognitive function and dementia risk in the English Longitudinal Study

Hackett, Ruth A., Davies, Hilary, Cadar, Dorina, Orrell, Martin and Steptoe, Andrew (2018) Walking speed, cognitive function and dementia risk in the English Longitudinal Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 66 (9). pp. 1670-1675. ISSN 1532-5415

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Background: Physical and cognitive function decline with age. Slow walking speed has been associated with negative health outcomes and dementia is often preceded by cognitive decline. This study investigated walking speed, cognitive function and the interaction between changes in these measures in relation to dementia risk.

Method: Walking speed and cognition were assessed in 3,932 individuals aged ≥60 years at wave 1 (2002-03) and 2 (2004-05) of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. New dementia cases were assessed from wave 3 (2006-07) to wave 7 (2014-15). The associations were modelled using Cox proportional hazards regression.

Results: Participants with faster baseline walking speeds (HR 0.36; 95% CI 0.22 - 0.60) had a decreased risk of dementia. Those who had a greater decline in walking speed (waves 1 - 2 (HR 1.23; 95% CI 1.03 - 1.47) had an increased dementia risk. Participants with greater baseline cognition (HR 0.42; 95% CI 0.34 - 0.54) had a reduced dementia risk. Those who had a greater decline in cognition (waves 1-2) had a greater risk of dementia (HR 1.78; 95% CI 36 1.53 - 2.06). Change in walking speed and change in cognition did not interact significantly in relation to dementia risk (HR 1.01; 95% CI 0.88 – 1.17).

Conclusions: In this community-dwelling sample of English adults those with slower walking speeds and a greater decline in speed over time had an increased risk of developing dementia independent of changes in cognition. Further research is required to understand the mechanisms that may drive these associations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Hackett, R. A., Davies-Kershaw, H., Cadar, D., Orrell, M. and Steptoe, A. (2018), Walking Speed, Cognitive Function, and Dementia Risk in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. J Am Geriatr Soc. doi:10.1111/jgs.15312, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgs.15312/abstract. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Keywords: Gait speed; Cognition; Dementia
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.15312
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2018 15:04
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 10:52
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/49458

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