Changes in cognitive function among older adults: A latent profile transition analysis

TitleChanges in cognitive function among older adults: A latent profile transition analysis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsHuang, F, Zhang, M, Wang, S
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
ISSN Number01674943
KeywordsCognitive Ability, Gender Differences, Latent Variable Modeling

Cognitive decline in late life is a crucial health problem. It is important to understand the consistency and change of older adults’ cognitive function in late life. Data for older adults (78 years and above) from the Health and Retirement Study (N = 1680) were used to explore meaningful subtypes of cognitive function and transitions patterns between those profiles across times. Age, gender, levels of education and nursing home were incorporated as covariates to explore the association between these variables and cognitive function transition pattern. Three cognitive function subgroups (Normal Cognitive Function, Fluid Intelligence Impairment and Cognitive Impairment) were identified. Individuals in Normal Cognitive Function status had a high probability to convert to the Fluid Intelligence Impairment status whereas the Cognitive Impairment status appeared a predominant tendency for stability. Increasing age played a significant role in fluid intelligence impairment and cognitive impairment process. Female and individuals with nursing home might be at higher risk of subsequent fluid intelligence impairment, while higher education did not protect against fluid intelligence impairment. These findings highlighted the usefulness to adopt a person-centered approach rather than a variable-centered approach, suggesting directions for future research and tailored interventions approaches to older adults with particular characteristics.

Short TitleArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Citation Key9862