Protective factors against cognitive decline among community-dwelling middle-aged and older people in Taiwan: A 6-year national population-based study.Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2017 Apr; 17 Suppl 1:20-27.GG
Dementia and cognitive impairment are important public health challenges to a rapidly aging country. The present study aimed to explore the protective factors against cognitive decline among community-dwelling middle-aged and older people from health, social, and lifestyle perspectives.
Data of the Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study, a population-based cohort study in Taiwan, were retrieved for the study. Overall, 676 participants with intact baseline cognitive function (measured by the Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire) were enrolled and followed for six years. Any increasing score of the Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire in the observational period was referred to as cognitive function decline. Associated factors for cognitive decline were identified by the logistic regression model.
Among all participants, 205 (30%) experienced cognitive decline during the study period. Crude logistic regression showed that women (odds ratio [OR] 1.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3-2.6), low educational level (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.4-3.0) and low mastery (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0-1.9) were associated with cognitive decline, but no daily consumption of vegetables and fruits had only a marginal association (OR 1.3, 95% CI 0.9-1.8). In the fully adjusted logistic regression analysis, old age, women, low educational level and low sense of mastery were independent predictors for cognitive decline. Participants with two modifiable factors (mastery, and daily consumptions of vegetables and fruits) had a lower risk of cognitive decline (OR 0.5, 95% CI 0.3-0.9), compared with those without any protective factor.
Participants with a better educational level, better personal mastery, and more consumption of fruits and vegetables were less likely to experience cognitive decline. An intervention study combining these features should be carried out to promote better cognitive health in communities. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2017: 17 (Suppl. 1): 20-27.