Author(s): Anstey K, Christensen H
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Cross-sectional studies have identified a number of health and lifestyle factors that correlate with cognitive function in old age. It is important to know whether these factors also predict change in cognitive function over time. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate published findings on genetic, health and lifestyle predictors of cognitive change in late adulthood. METHODS: Studies reporting data on education, health, blood pressure, activity and apolipoprotein E (APOE) as predictors of cognitive change were reviewed. A total of 34 studies were identified that reported data on these predictors. The average follow-up period of studies reviewed was 7.68 years. RESULTS: Results showed that education, hypertension, objective indices of health and cardiovascular disease, and APOE were associated with cognitive change. Results regarding the effect of physical activity on cognitive change were inconclusive. CONCLUSION: Despite the lack of data on some predictors, the longitudinal trends are generally consistent with cross-sectional findings on predictors of cognitive performance in old age. More research is required to compare the influence of predictors on different types of cognitive abilities. Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.
This article was published in Gerontology
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research