Henchoz, Büla, von Gunten, Blanco, Seematter-Bagnoud, Démonet, Waeber, Nanchen, Santos-Eggimann (2020) Trends in physical and cognitive performance among community-dwelling older adults in Switzerland The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences ()


With population aging, a key question is whether new cohorts of older people are in better health than previous ones. This study aimed to compare the physical and cognitive performance of community-dwelling older adults assessed at similar age in 2005, 2010, and 2015. This repeated cross-sectional analysis used data from the Lausanne cohort 65+, a three random sample population-based study. Performance of participants aged 66-71 years in 2005 (N=1309), 2010 (N=1253) and 2015 (N=1328) was compared using a battery of six physical and four cognitive tests. Analyses included tests for trend across samples and multivariable linear regression models. Adjusted performance in all four timed physical tests (gait speed, Timed Up-and-Go, five times chair stand, and Moberg Picking-Up) improved across samples from 2005 to 2015, by +12.7% (95% CI +10.5%; +14.9%) to +20.4% (95% CI +17.7%; +23.0%) in females, and by +10.6% (95% CI +8.7%; +12.4%) to +16.7% (95% CI +13.4%; +20.0%) in males. In contrast, grip strength and balance did not improve across samples. Adjusted cognitive performance showed no change in the Trail Making Test, but worsened significantly across samples for the Mini-Mental State Examination, verbal fluency, and the clock drawing test in both females (1.9% (95% CI 2.7%; 1.1%) to 6.7% (95% CI 8.9%; 4.6%)) and males (2.5% (95% CI 3.4%; 1.6%) to 8.0% (95% CI 11.1%; 4.9%)). Over the last decade, performance of adults aged 66-71 years improved significantly in timed physical tests but worsened in most cognitive measures among later-born samples. © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.