Combined Effects of Cognitive Impairment and Nutritional Trajectories on Functional Recovery for Older Patients after Hip-Fracture Surgery

Published:September 16, 2022DOI:



      Malnutrition and cognitive impairment are associated with poor functional recovery in older adults following hip-fracture surgery. This study examined the combined effects of cognitive impairment and nutritional trajectories on postoperative functional recovery for older adults following hip-fracture surgery.


      Prospective longitudinal correlational study.

      Setting and Participants

      This study recruited 350 older adults (≥60 years of age) who received hip-fracture surgery at a 3000-bed medical center in northern Taiwan from September 2012 to March 2020.


      Participant data were collected over a 2-year period after surgery for nutritional and cognitive status and activities of daily living (ADLs). Participants were grouped by type of nutritional trajectory using group-based trajectory modeling. Generalized estimating equations analyzed associations between trajectory groups/cognitive status at discharge and performance of ADLs.


      Nutritional trajectories best fit a 3-group trajectory model: malnourished (19%), at-risk of malnutrition (40%), and well-nourished (41%). Nutritional status for the malnourished group declined from 12 months to 24 months following surgery; nutritional status remained stable for at-risk of malnutrition and well-nourished groups. Interactions for cognitive impairment-by-nutritional status were significant: the malnourished + intact cognition subgroup had significantly better ADLs than the malnourished + cognitive impairment subgroup (b = 27.1, 95% confidence interval = 14.0–40.2; P < .001). For at-risk of malnutrition and well-nourished groups, there were no significant differences between cognitive impairment and intact cognition in ADLs. These findings suggest that nutritional status may buffer the negative effect of cognitive impairment on ADLs.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Better nutritional status over time for older adults following hip fracture can protect against adverse influences of cognitive impairment on ADLs during postoperative recovery. Participants with malnutrition and cognitive impairment had the poorest ADLs. These findings suggest interventions tailored to improving nutritional status may improve recovery for older adults following hip-fracture surgery.


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