Association between daily gait speed patterns and cognitive impairment in community-dwelling older adults
Gait speed over a short distance is associated with cognitive impairment in older adults. Recently, daily gait speed has been assessed using accelerometers. However, because daily gait speed is only weakly correlation with gait speed over a short distance, its association with cognitive impairment needs to be investigated. The present study compared the daily gait speed patterns of normal cognition (NC), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and general cognitive impairment (GCI) subjects measured every 3 h for two weeks using accelerometers. A total of 1959 participants were classified into the NC (N = 1519), MCI (N = 353), and GCI groups (N = 87). The results showed that the average daily gait speed of the GCI group was significantly lower than that of the NC group (p = 0.03). Furthermore, the average daily gait speeds of the MCI and NC groups were the same. However, the average daily gait speed of the MCI group during a specific time (12-15 o'clock) was significantly lower than that of the NC group (p < 0.01). These results suggest that changes in daily patterns may be detected by measuring daily gait speed, which depends on the degree of cognitive function.