We assembled baseline data for 50 multi-morbidity items that (a) have been used in the VLS and related research to form a frailty index [4], (b) have demonstrated associations with adverse brain and cognitive aging outcomes [4], and (c) satisfy prevailing conventions surrounding deficit accumulation approaches to frailty assessment [31]. Data for these items were collected using self-report, physical examinations, and formal tests with standardized scales. All items were recoded such that scores ranged from 0 (no deficit present) to 1 (deficit was maximally expressed [31]; see Table 2 for examples; full list in Supplementary Table 1, Additional File 1).

Multi-morbidity items by exploratory factor analysis derived frailty domain

aPerformance was recoded as 0 (< 90th percentile) or 1 (within 90th percentile)

bPerformance was recoded as 0 or 1. See Supplementary Table 1, Additional File 1

c0 = no, 1 = yes

d0 = no change, improved, N/A; 0.25 = slightly reduced; 0.50 = moderately reduced; 0.75 = drastically reduced; 1 = gave up doing activity

e0 = no to all; 0.2 = yes to one; 0.4 = yes to two; 0.6 = yes to three; 0.8 = yes to four; 1 = yes to all

f0 = rarely or none of the time; 0.33 = some or a little of the time; 0.67 = occasionally or a moderate amount of the time; 1 = most or all of the time

g0 = no; 0.33 = yes, not serious; 0.67 = yes, moderately serious; 1 = yes, very serious

hPerformance was recoded as 0 = 32.13–63.90; 0.5 = 64–75.9; 1 = 76+

We represented neurocognitive speed as a multi-indicator latent variable using the following four manifest indicators: simple reaction time, choice reaction time, lexical decision, and sentence verification. Each of these indicators are multi-trial, computer-based neuropsychological tasks that have (a) established psychometric properties, (b) been widely used and documented in the VLS and related cognitive aging research, and (c) demonstrated sensitivity to neurocognitive factors and functional biomarkers [4, 32]. The target measure for each task was the average response latency across the test trials. Responses were recoded such that higher scores represented better performance. We present descriptions of each task and data correction procedures in the Supplementary Methods, Additional File 1.

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