Handgrip strength predicts longitudinal changes in clock drawing test performance. An observational study in a sample of older non-demented adults
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Impairment of physical performance might identify older people at higher risk of dementia over time. The present study evaluated handgrip strength as independent predictor of cognitive decline.
Observational, prospective. Follow-up duration: 11.2 ± 0.8 months.
Setting and participants
Geriatric outpatients center. 104 consecutive stroke- and dementia-free older adults (44% men, ages 80.2±5.4 years).
The Clinical Dementia Rating scale and the Clock Drawing Test (CDT) were administered. Handgrip strength was assessed using a Jamar hand dynamometer. Brain magnetic resonance imaging studies at 1.5 T were performed. White matter damage was expressed as severity of white matter hyperintensities (WMHs). Longitudinal changes in cognitive function were expressed as 1-year decline in CDT performance.
A robust association was observed between baseline handgrip strength and 1-year cognitive decline after multiple adjustment. Of note, the strength of such association was only minimally attenuated after adjusting for deep WMHs extent (β coefficient for handgrip strength = 0.183, SE= 0.038, p= 0.007, R2= 0.58).
Handgrip strength predicted accelerated 1-year decline in cognitive function, assessed by CDT, in a sample of older adults. Future studies are needed to elucidate the causal mechanisms linking limitations in physical function with dementia risk.
Key wordsPhysical performance cognitive decline handgrip
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