Cognitive Frailty and Its Association with Nutrition and Depression in Community-Dwelling Older People

R. Y.C. Kwan, Angela Y. M. Leung, Anita Yee, L. T. Lau, Xin Yi Xu, David L.K. Dai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cognitive frailty is a condition where physical frailty and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) co-exist. It is associated with increased risk of dementia and dependency. Previous studies reported that malnutrition and depression are associated with physical frailty and MCI; however, their relationships with cognitive frailty remained to be explored. The aims of this study were to examine the association of nutrition and depression with cognitive frailty, in comparison to having physical frailty or MCI alone. Methods: This study employed a cross-sectional design. Data collection was conducted in the community settings on the older people without dementia. Dependent variables were cognitive frailty, physical frailty, and MCI. The independent variables were depression and nutrition. Multi-nominal regression was employed to examine the relationships between the dependent and independent variables. The associations were adjusted by four known co-variates, including age, gender, education and APOE ε4 carrier status. Results: A total of 185 participants were recruited from four community centres and one elderly hostel and completed the data collection. Approximately 44.9% of the older people with physical frailty and 82.5% of elderly with MCI belonged to cognitive frailty. Multi-nominal regression models showed that depression is positively associated with cognitive frailty and with physical frailty, but not associated with solely MCI. Nutrition is negatively associated with cognitive frailty, but not associated with physical frailty or MCI alone. Conclusion: Cognitive frailty is associated with malnutrition and depression. Therapeutic interventions managing depression and malnutrition may focus the older people with cognitive frailty to improve efficacy and cost-effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-948
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • APOE gene
  • Cognitive frailty
  • depression
  • nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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