Higher Risk of Dementia Among Frail Older Adults

Higher Risk of Dementia Among Frail Older Adults

Active, non-frail adults, who are elderly are three and a half times less likely than their peers who are more frail to develop dementia. A recently published study in the journal Scientific Reports showed that over fifteen percent of adults in the United Kingdom are frail. Those who were frail who were tracked over the course of the study were found to be significantly more likely to develop dementia within the next ten years.

The medical definition of frailty is a combination of a number of other symptoms. It includes problems with vision and hearing, mobility, physical disabilities, and generally poor health. Chronic problems with the heart, and even depression, are also factors in a diagnosis of frailty. The researchers conducted the study because dementia is currently very difficult to manage once it’s started. Their hope is to find ways to either slow down how it progresses, or even delay how likely it is to occur in the first place.

When a patient is frail, they’re much more likely to have serious outcomes from even minor health incidents. Something like a small infection or otherwise typical fall to the floor can trigger a serious and quick health deterioration that can lead to even more serious problems.

Key Points:

  • 1Frailty may be a deciding factor in the mental health of older adults. One study from UCL has compared frail older adults to non-frail peers.
  • 2Hearing and vision loss can affect the fraility of an individual and lead to dementia.
  • 3Medical practitioners should be look for signs of dementia in older adults who have “fraility” markers.

The risk of developing dementia is around 3.5 times higher in frail older adults than in their non-frail peers, according to a new study from UCL.

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