The authors used data from 6 waves of the Health and Retirement Study to evaluate changes in the prevalence of cognitive impairment among adults 70 years of age or older from 1993 to 2004. Having sampling weights for each wave enabled the authors to create merged waves that represented cross-sections of the community-dwelling older population for that year. Logistic regression analyses with year as the predictor were used to estimate trends and determine the contribution of sociodemographic and health status variables to decreasing trends in the prevalence of cognitive impairment over time (score ≤8 on a modified Telephone Interview Cognitive Screen). Results showed an annual decline in the prevalence of cognitive impairment of 3.4% after adjustment for age, gender, and prior test exposure (odds ratio (OR) = 0.966, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.941, 0.992). The addition of socioeconomic variables to the model attenuated the trend by 72.1%. The annual percentage of decline in impairment was larger for blacks (OR = 0.943, 95% CI: 0.914, 0.973) and Hispanics (OR = 0.954, 95% CI: 0.912, 0.997) than for whites (OR = 0.971, 95% CI: 0.936, 1.006), although the differences were not statistically significant. Linear probability models used in secondary analyses showed larger percentage-point declines for blacks and Hispanics. Improvements in educational level contributed to declines in cognitive impairment among older adults-particularly blacks and Hispanics-in the United States.

%B Am J Epidemiol %I 174 %V 174 %P 274-83 %8 2011 Aug 01 %G eng %N 3 %1 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21622948?dopt=Abstract %2 PMC3202156 %4 African Continental Ancestry Group/statistics/African Continental Ancestry Group/statistics/numerical data/Age Factors/Chi-Square Distribution/Chi-Square Distribution/Cognition Disorders/ epidemiology/Cognition Disorders/ epidemiology/Confidence Intervals/Continental Population Groups/ statistics/Continental Population Groups/ statistics/numerical data/Ethnic Groups/ statistics/Ethnic Groups/ statistics/numerical data/European Continental Ancestry Group/statistics/European Continental Ancestry Group/statistics/numerical data/Female/Health Behavior/Health Status/Hispanic Americans/statistics/Hispanic Americans/statistics/numerical data/Humans/Logistic Models/Longitudinal Studies/Odds Ratio/Prevalence/Socioeconomic Factors/United States/epidemiology/United States/epidemiology %$ 62744 %R 10.1093/aje/kwr074