Background: Few studies emphasize on predictors of incident cognitive frailty (CF) and examine relationships between various gait characteristics and CF. Therefore, we conducted a 2-year prospective study to investigate potential predictors, including gait characteristics, of incident reversible CF (RCF) and potentially RCF (PRCF) among Taiwanese older adults. Methods: Eligible participants were individuals aged ≥ 65 years, who could ambulate independently, and did not have RCF/PRCF at the baseline. The baseline assessment collected information on physical frailty and cognitive measures, in addition to sociodemographic and lifestyle characteristics, preexisting comorbidities and medications, gait characteristics, Tinetti’s balance, balance confidence as assessed by Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale, and the depressive status as assessed by the Geriatric Depression Scale. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Mattis Dementia Rating Scale, and Digit Symbol Substitution Test were used to evaluate cognitive functions. Incident RCF and PRCF were ascertained at a 2-year follow-up assessment. Results: Results of the multinomial logistic regression analysis showed that incident RCF was significantly associated with older age (odds ratio [OR] = 1.05) and lower ABC scores (OR = 0.97). Furthermore, incident PRCF was significantly associated with older age (OR = 1.07), lower ABC scores (OR = 0.96), the presence of depression (OR = 3.61), lower MMSE scores (OR = 0.83), slower gait velocity (OR = 0.97), and greater double-support time variability (OR = 1.09). Conclusions: Incident RCF was independently associated with older age and lower balance confidence while incident PRCF independently associated with older age, reduced global cognition, the presence of depression, slower gait velocity, and greater double-support time variability. Balance confidence was the only modifiable factor associated with both incident RCF and PRCF.
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