AimTo evaluate the social, educational, health and behavioral predictors of physical functional decline in older Spanish adults. MethodsA 2-year longitudinal study based on 699 community-dwelling Spanish adults aged over 65years participating in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe was carried out. Several predictors of a combined measure of functional disability were examined using logistic regressions. ResultsA decline in function was experienced by 166 individuals. Functional decline in men was associated with an increased number of chronic diseases (OR 2.25, 95% CI 1.21-4.19) and depressive symptoms (OR 5.05, 95% CI 2.42-10.54) over a 2-year period, whereas among women it was associated with decreased numeracy score (OR 1.88, 95%CI 1.05-3.34). ConclusionsLongitudinal changes in predictors are strongly associated with longitudinal changes in function between baseline and a 2-year follow up, most clearly among men. A decrease in cognitive functioning and increased depressive symptoms are associated with a decline in physical functioning, and can serve as useful clinical predictors to prevent disability in older Spanish adults. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2014; 14: 403-412.