Objective: To investigate the associations of specific cognitive functions and with the frailty trajectory among older Taiwanese adults. Methods: At baseline, 730 community-dwelling older adults were recruited from outpatient clinics of a general hospital. Frailty status was defined using phenotype criteria. Global cognition was assessed using the modified Telephone Interview of Cognitive Status and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). The Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (MDRS) and Digit Symbol Substitution Test were used to evaluate 6 cognitive domains: attention, initiation/perseveration, construction, conceptualization, memory, and processing speed. The group-based trajectory model was used to identify latent frailty trajectory groups and the multinomial logistic regression was to examine the relationships of specific cognitive functions with frailty trajectory. Results: Among 485 participants (168 men, 317 women, and mean age: 71.1 ± 5.5 years) completed 2 annual follow-up assessments, three frailty trajectory groups of improvement, no-change, and progression were identified. After adjusting for baseline frailty status, age, sex, global cognition, regular exercise habit, and number of comorbidities, higher scores on MDRS’s initiation/perseveration (odds ratio [OR] = 0.85; 95% CI = 0.75-0.95) and attention (OR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.38-1.00), respectively, were significantly associated with lower risk of frailty progression. Conversely, no significant association was detected between MMSE or TICSM scores and frailty improvement or progression. Conclusion: Specific cognitive functions of initiation/perseveration and attention, rather than global cognition, may be more useful to predict frailty progression, thus allowing the identification of at-risk older adults.
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