Association between neurological disorders, functioning, and mortality in the elderly
In aging populations, the prevalence of neurological disorders increases, which imposes high population burden in terms of mortality, disability, and impaired quality of life. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of common neurological disorders and signs and their association with functioning and mortality in an elderly general population.
Materials and methods
We used data from the Memory and Morbidity in Augsburg Elderly (MEMO) project, a population-based study of 385 individuals aged ≥65. The prevalence of neurological disorders and signs was assessed by physical examination and medical interview. The basic and instrumental activities of daily living were assessed (ADL, IADL). We assessed the association of neurological disorders and signs with everyday functioning and prospectively analyzed their relationship with mortality.
We observed considerably impaired functioning for cases with stroke, TIA, PD, and mild motor parkinsonian signs (MMPS). All-cause mortality was significantly increased in participants with stroke and MMPS, even after adjusting for co-variables (HR = 2.71 and 1.80, respectively).
We found that not only specific neurological disorders, but also earlier symptoms are related to impaired functioning and predict mortality in the elderly. These findings have potential clinical relevance for screening and early detection of individuals at risk.