Predictors and implications of accelerated cognitive aging

TitlePredictors and implications of accelerated cognitive aging
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsLevine, ME, Harrati, A, Crimmins, EM
JournalBiodemography and Social Biology
ISSN Number1948-5565
KeywordsBMI, Cognition & Reasoning, Risk Factors, Socioeconomic factors

Aging is a major risk factor for both normal and pathological cognitive decline. However, individuals vary in their rate of age-related decline. We developed an easily interpretable composite measure of cognitive age, and related both the level of cognitive age and cognitive slope to sociodemographic, genetic, and disease indicators and examined its prediction of dementia transition. Using a sample of 19,594 participants from the Health and Retirement Study, cognitive age was derived from a set of performance tests administered at each wave. Our findings reveal different conclusions as they relate to levels versus slopes of cognitive age, with more pronounced differences by sex and race/ethnicity for absolute levels of cognitive decline rather than for rates of declines. We also find that both level and slope of cognitive age are inversely related to education, as well as increased for persons with APOE ?4 and/or diabetes. Finally, results show that the slope in cognitive age predicts subsequent dementia among non-demented older adults. Overall, our study suggests that this measure is applicable to cross-sectional and longitudinal studies on cognitive aging, decline, and dementia with the goal of better understanding individual differences in cognitive decline.

Short TitleBiodemography and Social Biology
Citation Key9975