Prognosis and Interplay of Cognitive Impairment and Sarcopenia in Older Adults Discharged from Acute Care Hospitals

Elisa Zengarini, Robertina Giacconi, Lucia Mancinelli, Giovanni Renato Riccardi, Daniele Castellani, Davide Liborio Vetrano, Graziano Onder, Stefano Volpato, Carmelinda Ruggiero, Paolo Fabbietti, Antonio Cherubini, Francesco Guarasci, Andrea Corsonello, Fabrizia Lattanzio

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Sarcopenia and cognitive impairment are associated with an increased risk of negative outcomes, but their prognostic interplay has not been investigated so far. We aimed to investigate the prognostic interaction of sarcopenia and cognitive impairment concerning 12-month mortality among older patients discharged from acute care wards in Italy. Our series consisted of 624 patients (age = 80.1 ± 7.0 years, 56.1% women) enrolled in a prospective observational study. Sarcopenia was defined following the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) criteria. Cognitive impairment was defined as age- and education-adjusted Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score < 24 or recorded diagnosis of dementia. The study outcome was all-cause mortality during 12-month follow-up. The combination of sarcopenia and cognitive ability was tested against participants with intact cognitive ability and without sarcopenia. Overall, 159 patients (25.5%) were identified as having sarcopenia, and 323 (51.8%) were cognitively impaired. During the follow-up, 79 patients (12.7%) died. After adjusting for potential confounders, the combination of sarcopenia and cognitive impairment has been found associated with increased mortality (HR = 2.12, 95% CI = 1.05-4.13). Such association was also confirmed after excluding patients with dementia (HR = 2.13, 95% CI = 1.06-4.17), underweight (HR = 2.18, 95% CI = 1.03-3.91), high comorbidity burden (HR = 2.63, 95% CI = 1.09-6.32), and severe disability (HR = 2.88, 95% CI = 1.10-5.73). The co-occurrence of sarcopenia and cognitive impairment may predict 1-year mortality in older patients discharged from acute care hospitals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2019


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