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70 Childhood SES and Midlife CVD on Late-life Cognition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 December 2023

Tamare V. Adrien*
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
Andrew Hirst
Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA, USA.
Ai-Lin Tsai
Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA, USA.
Ruijia Chen
University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Eleanor Hayes-Larson
University of California, Los Angeles, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Shellie-Anne Levy
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
Laura Zahodne
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
Paul K. Crane
University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
Rachel Peterson
University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA.
Paola Gilsanz
Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA, USA.
Indira Turney
Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
Correspondence: Tamare V. Adrien, University of Florida,
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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a well-known risk factor for cognitive impairment and dementia, particularly among minoritized groups that have experienced a history of low childhood socioeconomic status (SES). Although previous literature has linked all levels of SES to varying degrees of stress exposure, children raised in higher SES households have more access to resources and services that encourage optimal growth and development than children who grow up in lower SES households. Given the disproportionate burden of dementia and cognitive deficits within minoritized groups, the present study examined whether childhood SES is associated with later life cognition among Black and White older adults and if this association persists after accounting for hypertension, a possible mediator of the relationship between childhood SES.

Participants and Methods:

1,184 participants were from the first wave of the STAR (n = 397 Black [Mage= 75.0 ±6.8 years]) and KHANDLE (386 Black [Mage= 76.2 ±7.2 years] and 401 White [Mage= 78.4 ±7.5 years]) cohorts. We used general linear models to examine the relationship between childhood SES and later-life executive function, semantic memory, and verbal memory scores, and midlife hypertension. Childhood SES was measured by self-reported perceived financial status (with participants given the following options: ‘pretty well off financially’, ‘about average’, ‘poor’, or ‘it varied’). These models were assessed in the full sample and also stratified by race.


In the full sample, childhood financial status was not associated with semantic memory, verbal episodic memory, or executive function. Financial status was associated with semantic memory in Black adults (β = -.124, t(771) = -2.52, p = .01) and this association persisted after accounting for hypertension (β = -.124, t(770) = -2.53, p = .01). There was no association between childhood financial status and later life semantic memory among White adults. There was no association between childhood financial status and later life verbal episodic memory or executive function in either Black or White adults in models with or without adjustment for hypertension.


Our findings showed no relationship between childhood SES and cognition, except for semantic memory in Black participants; this relationship persisted after accounting for midlife CVD. Future analyses will assess both direct and indirect effects of more predictive measures of childhood SES on late-life cognition with midlife CVD as a mediator.


Poster Session 04: Aging | MCI
Copyright © INS. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2023