Associations Between Geriatric Syndromes and Mortality in Community-Dwelling Elderly: Results of a National Longitudinal Study in Taiwan

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Objective Although geriatric syndromes have been studied extensively, their interactions with one another and their accumulated effects on life expectancy are less frequently discussed. This study examined whether geriatric syndromes and their cumulative effects are associated with risks of mortality in community-dwelling older adults. Methods Data were collected from the Taiwan Longitudinal Study in Aging in 2003, and the participant survival status was followed until December 31, 2007. A total of 2744 participants aged ≥65 years were included in this retrospective cohort study; 634 died during follow-up. Demographic factors, comorbidities, health behaviors, and geriatric syndromes, including underweight, falls, functional impairment, depressive condition, and cognitive impairment, were assessed. Cox proportional hazard regression analysis was used to estimate the hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the probability of survival according to the cumulative number of geriatric syndromes. Results The prevalence of geriatric syndromes increased with age. Mortality was significantly associated with age ≥75 years; male sex; ≤6 years of education; history of stroke, malignancy; smoking; not drinking alcohol; and not exercising regularly. Geriatric syndromes, such as underweight, functional disability, and depressive condition, contributed to the risk of mortality. The accumulative model of geriatric syndromes also predicted higher risks of mortality (N = 1, HR 1.50, 95% CI 1.19–1.89; N = 2, HR 1.69, 95% CI 1.25–2.29; N ≥ 3, HR 2.43, 95% CI 1.62–3.66). Conclusions Community-dwelling older adults who were male, illiterate, receiving institutional care, underweight, experiencing a depressive condition, functionally impaired, and engaging in poor health behavior were more likely to have a higher risk of mortality. The identification of geriatric syndromes might help to improve comprehensive care for community-dwelling older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-251
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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