Trajectories of health conditions and their associations with the risk of cognitive impairment among older adults: insights from a national prospective cohort study.

TitleTrajectories of health conditions and their associations with the risk of cognitive impairment among older adults: insights from a national prospective cohort study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsDu, M, Tao, L, Liu, M, Liu, J
JournalBMC Medicine
Volume22
Issue1
Pagination20
ISSN Number1741-7015
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Cognitive Dysfunction, multimorbidity, Sleep Wake Disorders
Abstract

BACKGROUND: The associations between trajectories of different health conditions and cognitive impairment among older adults were unknown. Our cohort study aimed to investigate the impact of various trajectories, including sleep disturbances, depressive symptoms, functional limitations, and multimorbidity, on the subsequent risk of cognitive impairment.

METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study by using eight waves of national data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS 2002-2018), involving 4319 adults aged 60 years or older in the USA. Sleep disturbances and depressive symptoms were measured using the Jenkins Sleep Scale and the Centers for Epidemiologic Research Depression (CES-D) scale, respectively. Functional limitations were assessed using activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), respectively. Multimorbidity status was assessed by self-reporting physician-diagnosed diseases. We identified 8-year trajectories at four examinations from 2002 to 2010 using latent class trajectory modeling. We screened participants for cognitive impairment using the 27-point HRS cognitive scale from 2010 to 2018 across four subsequent waves. We calculated hazard ratios (HR) using Cox proportional hazard models.

RESULTS: During 25,914 person-years, 1230 participants developed cognitive impairment. In the fully adjusted model 3, the trajectories of sleep disturbances and ADLs limitations were not associated with the risk of cognitive impairment. Compared to the low trajectory, we found that the increasing trajectory of depressive symptoms (HR = 1.39; 95% CI = 1.17-1.65), the increasing trajectory of IADLs limitations (HR = 1.88; 95% CI = 1.43-2.46), and the high trajectory of multimorbidity status (HR = 1.48; 95% CI = 1.16-1.88) all posed an elevated risk of cognitive impairment. The increasing trajectory of IADLs limitations was associated with a higher risk of cognitive impairment among older adults living in urban areas (HR = 2.30; 95% CI = 1.65-3.21) and those who smoked (HR = 2.77; 95% CI = 1.91-4.02) (all P for interaction < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that tracking trajectories of depressive symptoms, instrumental functioning limitations, and multimorbidity status may be a potential and feasible screening method for identifying older adults at risk of cognitive impairment.

DOI10.1186/s12916-024-03245-x
Citation Key13678
PubMed ID38195549
PubMed Central IDPMC10777570
Grant List72122001 / / National Natural Science Foundation of China /
72211540398 / / National Natural Science Foundation of China /