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Neighborhood age structure and cognitive function in a nationally-representative sample of older adults in the U.S.
Soc Sci Med. 2017 02; 174:149-158.SS

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that living in a neighborhood with a greater percentage of older adults is associated with better individual health, including lower depression, better self-rated health, and a decreased risk of overall mortality. However, much of the work to date suffers from four limitations. First, none of the U.S.-based studies examine the association at the national level. Second, no studies have examined three important hypothesized mechanisms - neighborhood socioeconomic status and neighborhood social and physical characteristics - which are significantly correlated with both neighborhood age structure and health. Third, no U.S. study has longitudinally examined cognitive health trajectories. We build on this literature by examining nine years of nationally-representative data from the Health and Retirement Study (2002-2010) on men and women aged 51 and over linked with Census data to examine the relationship between the percentage of adults 65 and older in a neighborhood and individual cognitive health trajectories. Our results indicate that living in a neighborhood with a greater percentage of older adults is related to better individual cognition at baseline but we did not find any significant association with cognitive decline. We also explored potential mediators including neighborhood socioeconomic status, perceived neighborhood cohesion and perceived neighborhood physical disorder. We did not find evidence that neighborhood socioeconomic status explains this relationship; however, there is suggestive evidence that perceived cohesion and disorder may explain some of the association between age structure and cognition. Although more work is needed to identify the precise mechanisms, this work may suggest a potential contextual target for public health interventions to prevent cognitive impairment.

Authors+Show Affiliations

RAND Corporation, USA. Electronic address: friedman@rand.org.RAND Corporation, USA.RAND Corporation, USA.RAND Corporation, USA.University of Chicago, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28033564

Citation

Friedman, Esther M., et al. "Neighborhood Age Structure and Cognitive Function in a Nationally-representative Sample of Older Adults in the U.S." Social Science & Medicine (1982), vol. 174, 2017, pp. 149-158.
Friedman EM, Shih RA, Slaughter ME, et al. Neighborhood age structure and cognitive function in a nationally-representative sample of older adults in the U.S. Soc Sci Med. 2017;174:149-158.
Friedman, E. M., Shih, R. A., Slaughter, M. E., Weden, M. M., & Cagney, K. A. (2017). Neighborhood age structure and cognitive function in a nationally-representative sample of older adults in the U.S. Social Science & Medicine (1982), 174, 149-158. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.12.005
Friedman EM, et al. Neighborhood Age Structure and Cognitive Function in a Nationally-representative Sample of Older Adults in the U.S. Soc Sci Med. 2017;174:149-158. PubMed PMID: 28033564.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Neighborhood age structure and cognitive function in a nationally-representative sample of older adults in the U.S. AU - Friedman,Esther M, AU - Shih,Regina A, AU - Slaughter,Mary E, AU - Weden,Margaret M, AU - Cagney,Kathleen A, Y1 - 2016/12/05/ PY - 2016/08/11/received PY - 2016/11/05/revised PY - 2016/12/02/accepted PY - 2016/12/30/pubmed PY - 2018/2/21/medline PY - 2016/12/30/entrez KW - Cognitive decline KW - Dementia KW - Health and retirement study KW - Neighborhood age structure KW - Social cohesion KW - Socioeconomic status SP - 149 EP - 158 JF - Social science & medicine (1982) JO - Soc Sci Med VL - 174 N2 - Recent evidence suggests that living in a neighborhood with a greater percentage of older adults is associated with better individual health, including lower depression, better self-rated health, and a decreased risk of overall mortality. However, much of the work to date suffers from four limitations. First, none of the U.S.-based studies examine the association at the national level. Second, no studies have examined three important hypothesized mechanisms - neighborhood socioeconomic status and neighborhood social and physical characteristics - which are significantly correlated with both neighborhood age structure and health. Third, no U.S. study has longitudinally examined cognitive health trajectories. We build on this literature by examining nine years of nationally-representative data from the Health and Retirement Study (2002-2010) on men and women aged 51 and over linked with Census data to examine the relationship between the percentage of adults 65 and older in a neighborhood and individual cognitive health trajectories. Our results indicate that living in a neighborhood with a greater percentage of older adults is related to better individual cognition at baseline but we did not find any significant association with cognitive decline. We also explored potential mediators including neighborhood socioeconomic status, perceived neighborhood cohesion and perceived neighborhood physical disorder. We did not find evidence that neighborhood socioeconomic status explains this relationship; however, there is suggestive evidence that perceived cohesion and disorder may explain some of the association between age structure and cognition. Although more work is needed to identify the precise mechanisms, this work may suggest a potential contextual target for public health interventions to prevent cognitive impairment. SN - 1873-5347 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28033564/Neighborhood_age_structure_and_cognitive_function_in_a_nationally_representative_sample_of_older_adults_in_the_U_S_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0277-9536(16)30666-9 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -