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The aim of this study was to compare patterns of cognitive decline in older Latinos and non-Latinos. At annual intervals for a mean of 5.7 years, older Latino (n=104) and non-Latino (n=104) persons of equivalent age, education, and race completed a battery of 17 cognitive tests from which previously established composite measures of episodic memory, semantic memory, working memory, perceptual speed, and visuospatial ability were derived. In analyses adjusted for age, sex, and education, performance declined over time in each cognitive domain, but there were no ethnic group differences in initial level of function or annual rate of decline. There was evidence of retest learning following the baseline evaluation, but neither the magnitude nor duration of the effect was related to Latino ethnicity, and eliminating the first two evaluations, during which much of retest learning occurred, did not affect ethnic group comparisons. Compared to the non-Latino group, the Latino group had more diabetes (38.5% vs. 25.0; χ2=4.4; p=.037), fewer histories of smoking (24.0% vs. 39.4%, χ2=5.7; p=.017), and lower childhood household socioeconomic level (−0.410 vs. −0.045, t[185.0]=3.1; p=.002), but controlling for these factors did not affect results. Trajectories of cognitive aging in different abilities are similar in Latino and non-Latino individuals of equivalent age, education, and race. (JINS, 2016, 22, 58–65)
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