A new study finds how fast you walk later in life may be a sign that thinking problems are ahead.
University of Portland researchers studied 93 people age 70 or older who lived alone. They were given memory and thinking tests and had their walking speeds monitored for 3 years.
Results show people with non-memory mild cognitive impairment were nine times more likely to be slow walkers than moderate or fast walkers.
Researchers say more studies are needed, but walking speed could be a predictor of future memory and thinking problems in the elderly.
Dr. Ronan Factora, a geriatrician at Cleveland Clinic says "if you find that your walking is slower or someone else tells you you're walking a lot slower than usual, you've been slowing down over the years, that's something to tell your doctor and that may be a clue, an indicator that you really should look a little more deeply, is there something going on with cognitive functioning?"
Complete findings for this study are in the journal "Neurology."