Frailty in Older Adults with Mild Dementia: Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Alzheimer’s Disease
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Introduction: The aim of the study is to describe the frequency of frailty in people with a new diagnosis of mild dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Methods: This is a secondary analysis of the Dementia Study of Western Norway (Demvest). For this study, we analysed a sample of 186 patients, 116 with AD and 70 with DLB. Subjects were included at a time in which mild dementia was diagnosed according to consensus criteria after comprehensive standardized assessment. Frailty was evaluated retrospectively using a frailty index generated from existing data. The cut-off value used to classify an older adult as frail was 0.25. Results: The prevalence of frailty was 25.81% (n = 48). In the DLB group, 37.14% (n = 26) were classified as frail, compared to 18.97% (n = 22) of those with AD (p < 0.001). The adjusted multivariate analysis revealed an OR of 2.45 (1.15–5.23) for being frail in those with DLB when using AD as the reference group. Conclusion: Frailty was higher than expected in both types of dementia. The prevalence of frailty was higher in those with DLB compared to AD. This new finding underscores the need for a multi-systems approach in both dementias, with a particular focus on DLB.