A gradually increasing prevalence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is recognized in the super-aging society that Japan faces, and early detection and intervention in community-dwellers with MCI are critical issues to prevent dementia. Although many previous studies have revealed MCI/non-MCI differences in older individuals, information on the prevalence and characteristics of MCI in rural older adults is limited. The aim of this study was to investigate differential characteristics between older adults with and without MCI. The investigation was conducted over one year from 2018 to 2019. Participants were recruited from Akita in northern Japan. Neuropsychological assessments were applied to classify MCI, including the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology Functional Assessment Tool (NCGG-FAT) and the Touch panel-type Dementia Assessment Scale (TDAS) based on the Alzheimer’s disease assessment scale. Our samples consisted of 103 older adults divided into 54 non-MCI and 49 MCI. The MCI group had lower scores of all cognitive items. Our results showed that individuals with MCI had significantly slower walking speed (WS) and worse geriatric depression scale (GDS) compared to non-MCI. In addition, WS was significantly associated with some cognitive items in non-MCI, but not in MCI. Finally, we showed that predictive variables of MCI were WS and GDS. Our study provides important information about MCI in rural community-dwellers. We suggest that older adults living in a super-aging society should receive lower limb training, and avoiding depression in older adults through interaction of community-dwellers may contribute to preventing the onset of MCI.
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