Objective: To determine whether cognitive impairment assessed at annual geriatric health examinations is associated with increased mortality in the elderly. Method: This cohort study was based on data obtained from the government-sponsored Annual Geriatric Health Examination Program for the elderly in Taipei City between 2006 and 2010. The study sample consisted of 77,541 community-dwelling Taipei citizens aged 65. years or older. The Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire (SPMSQ) was selected to measure cognitive impairment. Mortality was ascertained by matching cohort IDs with national death files. Results: There was a dose-response relationship between cognitive impairment and mortality (increased one score of SPMSQ, Hazard ratio [HR]: 1.12, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10-1.14). Relative to no cognitive impairment, the HRs were 1.67 (95% CI: 1.43-1.94), 2.26 (95% CI: 1.90-2.70), and 2.68 (95% CI: 2.25-3.19) for mild, moderate, and severe cognitive impairments, respectively. The causes of death associated with cognitive impairment were circulatory, respiratory, and other causes, but not death from cancer. Conclusion: Cognitive impairment as measured by the SPMSQ is associated with an increased risk for mortality. Even mild cognitive impairment was associated with greater risk of mortality at a relatively short follow-up time.
- Cognitive impairment
- Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire (SPMSQ)