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We determined the association between neighborhood socio-environmental factors and insomnia symptoms in a nationally representative sample of US adults aged >50 years.
Data were analyzed from two waves (2006 and 2010) of the Health and Retirement Study using 7,231 community-dwelling participants (3,054 men and 4,177 women) in the United States. Primary predictors were neighborhood physical disorder (e.g. vandalism/graffiti, feeling safe alone after dark, and cleanliness) and social cohesion (e.g. friendliness of people, availability of help when needed, etc.); outcomes were insomnia symptoms (trouble falling asleep, night awakenings, waking too early, and feeling unrested).
After adjustment for age, income, race, education, sex, chronic diseases, body mass index, depressive symptoms, smoking, and alcohol consumption, each one-unit increase in neighborhood physical disorder was associated with a greater odds of trouble falling asleep (odds ratio (OR) = 1.09, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.04–1.14), waking too early (OR = 1.05, 95% CI: 1.00–1.10), and, in adults aged ≥69 years (adjusting for all variables above except age), feeling unrested in the morning (OR = 1.11, 95% CI: 1.02–1.22 in 2006). Each one-unit increase in lower social cohesion was associated with a greater odds of trouble falling asleep (OR = 1.06, 95% CI: 1.01–1.11) and feeling unrested (OR = 1.09, 95% CI: 1.04–1.15).
Neighborhood-level factors of physical disorder and social cohesion are associated with insomnia symptoms in middle-aged and older adults. Neighborhood-level factors may affect sleep, and consequently health, in our aging population.
The prevalence of both type II diabetes mellitus (DM) and cognitive impairment is high and increasing in older adults. We examined the extent to which DM diagnosis was associated with poorer cognitive performance and dementia diagnosis in a population-based cohort of US older adults.
We studied 7,606 participants in the National Health and Aging Trends Study, a nationally representative cohort of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years and older. DM and dementia diagnosis were based on self-report from participants or proxy respondents, and participants completed a word-list memory test, the Clock Drawing Test, and gave a subjective assessment of their own memory.
In unadjusted analyses, self-reported DM diagnosis was associated with poorer immediate and delayed word recall, worse performance on the Clock Drawing Test, and poorer self-rated memory. After adjusting for demographic characteristics, body mass index, depression and anxiety symptoms, and medical conditions, DM was associated with poorer immediate and delayed word recall and poorer self-rated memory, but not with the Clock Drawing Test performance or self-reported dementia diagnosis. After excluding participants with a history of stroke, DM diagnosis was associated with poorer immediate and delayed word recall and the Clock Drawing Test performance, and poorer self-rated memory, but not with self-reported dementia diagnosis.
In this recent representative sample of older Medicare enrollees, self-reported DM was associated with poorer cognitive test performance. Findings provide further support for DM as a potential risk factor for poor cognitive outcomes. Studies are needed that investigate whether DM treatment prevents cognitive decline.
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