Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome in Polypharmacy

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7 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: Risk factors for motoric cognitive risk syndrome (MCR), a predementia syndrome characterized by slow gait and cognitive complaints, have been identified, but few are reversible. Polypharmacy is a potentially reversible risk factor for cognitive decline, but the relationship between MCR and polypharmacy has not been examined. Our aim was to compare the epidemiology of MCR and polypharmacy. DESIGN: Cross-sectional. SETTING: Community-based Health and Retirement Study cohort. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1119 adults 65 years and older (mean age = 74.7 ± 7.0 y; 59% female). MEASUREMENTS: Polypharmacy is defined as the use of five or more regularly scheduled medications. MCR is defined as cognitive complaints and slow gait in an individual without dementia. RESULTS: The prevalence of MCR among 417 participants with polypharmacy was 10%; it was 6% among 702 participants without polypharmacy. The odds of meeting MCR criteria in those with polypharmacy was 1.8 (confidence interval = 1.0-3.0; P =.035) compared with those without polypharmacy, even after adjusting for high-risk medication use. CONCLUSION: Our results show the coexistence of MCR and polypharmacy in older adults, suggesting a potentially modifiable risk factor for dementia. J Am Geriatr Soc 68:1072–1077, 2020.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1072-1077
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • motoric cognitive risk syndrome
  • polypharmacy
  • prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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