Correlation of physical and cognitive impairment in diabetic and hypertensive frail older adults

Pasquale Mone, Jessica Gambardella, Angela Lombardi, Antonella Pansini, Stefano De Gennaro, Anna Luisa Leo, Michele Famiglietti, Anna Marro, Maria Morgante, Salvatore Frullone, Antonio De Luca, Gaetano Santulli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Background: Diabetes and hypertension are common in older adults and represent established risk factors for frailty. Frailty is a multidimensional condition due to reserve loss and susceptibility to stressors with a high risk of death, hospitalizations, functional and cognitive impairment. Comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension play a key role in increasing the risk of mortality, hospitalization, and disability. Moreover, frail patients with diabetes and hypertension are known to have an increased risk of cognitive and physical impairment. Nevertheless, no study assessed the correlation between physical and cognitive impairment in frail older adults with diabetes and hypertension. Methods: We evaluated consecutive frail older patients with diabetes and hypertension who presented at ASL (local health unit of the Italian Ministry of Health) Avellino, Italy, from March 2021 to October 2021. The inclusion criteria were: a previous diagnosis of diabetes and hypertension with no evidence of secondary causes; age > 65 years; a frailty status; Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) score < 26. Results: 179 patients successfully completed the study. We found a strong and significant correlation between MoCA score and 5-m gait speed test (r: 0.877; p < 0.001). To further verify our results, we performed a linear multivariate analysis adjusting for potential confounding factors, with MoCA score as dependent variable, which confirmed the significant association with glycemia (p < 0.001). Conclusions: This is the first study showing a significant correlation between 5-m gait speed test and MoCA score in frail diabetic and hypertensive older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10
JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Cognitive impairment
  • Diabetes
  • Frailty
  • Hypertension
  • Physical impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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