Factors associated with motoric cognitive risk syndrome among low-income older adults in Malaysia

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© 2019 The Author(s). Background: Motoric cognitive risk (MCR) syndrome is characterized by slow gait and memory complaints that could be used to predict an increased risk of dementia. This study aims to determine the MCR syndrome and its risk factors among low-income (B40) older adults in Malaysia. Methods: Data from TUA cohort study involving 1366 older adults (aged 60 years and above) categorized as low-income were analysed, for risk of MCR syndrome based on defined criteria. Chi-square analysis and independent t test were employed to examine differences in socioeconomic, demographic, chronic diseases and lifestyle factors between MCR and non-MCR groups. Risk factors of MCR syndrome were determined using hierarchical logistic regression. Results: A total of 3.4% of participants fulfilled the criteria of MCR syndrome. Majority of them were female (74.5%, p = 0.001), single/widow/widower/divorced (55.3%, p = 0.002), living in rural area (72.3%, p = 0.011), older age (72.74 ± 7.08 year old, p < 0.001) and had lower years of education (3.26 ± 2.91 years, p = 0.001) than non-MCR group. After adjustment for age, gender and years of education, participants living in rural area (Adjusted OR = 2.19, 95% CI = 1.10-4.35, p = 0.026), with obesity (Adjusted OR = 3.82, 95% CI = 1.70-8.57, p = 0.001), diabetes (Adjusted OR = 2.04, 95% CI = 1.01-4.11, p = 0.046), heart disease (Adjusted OR = 2.50, 95% CI = 1.00-6.20, p = 0.049) and cancer (Adjusted OR = 6.57, 95% CI = 1.18-36.65, p = 0.032) were associated with increased risk of MCR syndrome. Conclusion: Only 3.4% of older adults from low-income group were identified as having MCR syndrome. Women, those living in rural areas, had obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer were more likely to have MCR syndrome. Further investigation on MCR as a predementia syndrome will help in development of preventive strategies and interventions to reduce the growing burden of dementia, especially among individuals with low socioeconomic status.