Gait speed and cognitive score in elderly users of the primary care service

ABSTRACT Objective: to investigate the association between gait speed and the cognitive score of elderly patients enrolled in a Basic Health Unit. Method: a quantitative cross-sectional study with 203 elderly, a sample calculated based on the estimated population proportion. Data were collected using a sociodemographic and clinical questionnaire, gait speed test (GS) and the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). Results: the illiterate patients had a mean MMSE=19.33(±3.7) and GS = 0.76m/s (±0.3); those with low/medium education had a MMSE = 25.43(±2.8) and GS = 0.92m/s (±0.2); and the elderly with higher education had a MMSE = 27.33(±2.9) and GS=1.12m/s (±0.3).There was a weak correlation (R2=00354) between gait speed and cognitive score, with statistical significance (Prob>F = 0.0072) and a positive linear trend. Conclusion: the better cognitive score the higher the gait speed; the illiterate elderly were those with lower gait speed, thereby indicating a poorer physical performance.