Grip strength, gait speed, and trajectories of cognitive function in community-dwelling older adults: A prospective study

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Introduction: This study investigated whether grip strength and gait speed predict cognitive aging trajectories and examined potential sex-specific associations. Methods: Community-dwelling older adults (n = 19,114) were followed for up to 7 years, with regular assessment of global function, episodic memory, psychomotor speed, and executive function. Group-based multi-trajectory modeling identified joint cognitive trajectories. Multinomial logistic regression examined the association of grip strength and gait speed at baseline with cognitive trajectories. Results: High performers (14.3%, n = 2298) and low performers (4.0%, n = 642) were compared to the average performers (21.8%, n = 3492). Grip strength and gait speed were positively associated with high performance and negatively with low performance (P-values < 0.01). The association between grip strength and high performance was stronger in women (interaction P < 0.001), while gait speed was a stronger predictor of low performance in men (interaction P < 0.05). Discussion: Grip strength and gait speed are associated with cognitive trajectories in older age, but with sex differences. Highlights: There is inter-individual variability in late-life cognitive trajectories. Grip strength and gait speed predicted cognitive trajectories in older age. However, sex-specific associations were identified. In women, grip strength strongly predicted high, compared to average, trajectory. In men, gait speed was a stronger predictor of low cognitive performance trajectory.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12388
Number of pages10
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • cognitive function
  • gait speed
  • grip strength
  • older adults
  • prospective

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