Low cognitive status is associated with a lower ability to maintain standing balance in elderly outpatients

Marjon Stijntjes, Jantsje H Pasma, Marjet van Vuuren, Gerard Jan Blauw, Carel G M Meskers, Andrea B Maier

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Evidence is emerging that cognitive performance is involved in maintaining balance and thereby involved in falls in the elderly.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association of cognitive status with measures of standing balance in elderly outpatients.

METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, 197 community-dwelling elderly [mean age (SD) 81.9 (7.1) years] referred to a geriatric outpatient clinic were included and subsequently dichotomized into a group with low and normal cognitive status based on cut-off values of the Mini-Mental State Examination, Montreal Cognitive Assessment and Visual Association Test. The ability to maintain standing balance as well as the center of pressure (CoP) movement were assessed during 10 s of side-by-side, semi-tandem and tandem stance with eyes open and eyes closed. Logistic and linear regression were used to examine the association between cognitive status and measures of standing balance adjusted for age, gender and highest completed education.

RESULTS: Low cognitive status in elderly outpatients was associated with a lower ability to maintain 10 s of balance in side-by-side stance with eyes closed [OR (95% CI): 3.57 (1.60; 7.97)] and in semi-tandem stance with eyes open and eyes closed [OR (95% CI): 3.93 (1.71; 9.00) and OR (95% CI): 2.32 (1.11; 4.82), respectively]. Cognitive status was not associated with CoP movement.

CONCLUSION: Low cognitive status associates with a lower ability to maintain standing balance in more demanding standing conditions in elderly outpatients. This may have implications for routine geriatric screening strategies and interpretation of results of either standing balance or cognitive tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-30
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.


  • Accidental Falls/prevention & control
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment/methods
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Male
  • Mental Competency
  • Netherlands
  • Outpatients/psychology
  • Postural Balance
  • Posture
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Regression Analysis


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