The Relationship Between Physical Frailty and Mild Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly: A Systematic Review

  • Marcus Kiiti BorgesEmail author
  • N. Oiring de Castro Cezar
  • A. Silva Santos Siqueira
  • M. Yassuda
  • M. Cesari
  • I. Aprahamian



Physical frailty (PF) appears to be associated with low cognitive performance and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This review evaluated and synthesized the evidence of studies investigating the association between PF and MCI, the prevalence of both conditions and the rate of conversion of healthy older adult to one of them during the follow-up.


A systematic review was performed according to the PRISMA recommendations in the Pubmed, SciELO and LILACS databases. Five studies were eligible according to inclusion and exclusion criteria.


Regarding the study design, cross-sectional studies prevailed. Most studies showed a positive association between PF and MCI. Moreover, PF seems to predict a worse cognitive trajectory among participants with MCI and it is associated to a higher risk of developing MCI.


Our findings suggest a significant association between PF and MCI. Further longitudinal studies are needed to better explore causality.

Key words

Frailty mild cognitive impairment systematic review 


Funding: Prof. Aprahamian receives National public grant level 2 from the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications, Brazil).

Ethical standard: We agree with standards of expected ethical behavior for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the Authors, the Editor-in-Chief, the Peer-Reviewers and the Publisher. The research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, and the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study.


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcus Kiiti Borges
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • N. Oiring de Castro Cezar
    • 2
  • A. Silva Santos Siqueira
    • 1
  • M. Yassuda
    • 3
  • M. Cesari
    • 4
  • I. Aprahamian
    • 5
  1. 1.Department and Institute of Psychiatry, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos Centro de Ciencias Biologicas e da SaudeSão CarlosBrazil
  3. 3.Universidade de São Paulo, Escola de Artes, Ciências e HumanidadesSão PauloBrazil
  4. 4.Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedadale Maggiore PoliclinicoUniversity of MilanMilanItaly
  5. 5.Geriatrics & Psychiatry division, Department of Internal MedicineFaculty of Medicine of JundiaíJundiaíBrazil
  6. 6.Universidade de Sao Paulo Faculdade de Medicina, São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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