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Association between mild cognitive impairment and falls among Chinese older adults: the mediating roles of balance capacity and depressive symptoms

Abstract

Background This study aimed to examine the association between mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and the follow-up risk of falls among Chinese older adults, exploring the mediating roles of balance capacity and depressive symptoms in the association between MCI and falls.

Methods A total of 5482 adults aged 60 years and above from waves 2015 and 2018 of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study were included for analysis. Cognition was assessed by a global cognition score, which included three tests: episodic memory, figure drawing and Telephone Interview of Cognitive Status. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between MCI and falls. Mediation analysis was employed to explore the potential mediating roles of balance capacity and depressive symptoms in the association between MCI and falls.

Results MCI was significantly associated with the risk of falls (OR 1.259, 95% CI 1.080 to 1.467). Balance capacity and depressive symptoms played parallel mediating roles in the association between MCI and falls, and the mediating effects were 0.004 (95% CI 0.003 to 0.024) and 0.010 (95% CI 0.004 to 0.016), respectively.

Conclusions It is necessary to screen for and recognise MCI in order to prevent falls among older adults. More efforts should be made to improve balance capacity and relieve depressive symptoms to reduce the risk of falls among older adults with MCI.

  • Hip Facture
  • Behavior Change
  • Fall
  • Longitudinal
  • Disability
  • Older People

Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open access repository at http://charls.pku.edu.cn/en.

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