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Early-life socioeconomic status (SES) and adversity are associated with late-life cognition and risk of dementia. We examined the association between early-life SES and adversity and late-life cross-sectional cognitive outcomes as well as global cognitive decline, hypothesizing that adulthood SES would mediate these associations.
Our sample (N = 837) was a racially and ethnically diverse cohort of non-Hispanic/Latino White (48%), Black (27%), and Hispanic/Latino (19%) participants from Northern California. Participant addresses were geocoded to the level of the census tract, and US Census Tract 2010 variables (e.g., percent with high school diploma) were extracted and combined to create a neighborhood SES composite. We used multilevel latent variable models to estimate early-life (e.g., parental education, whether participant ever went hungry) and adult (participant’s education, main occupation) SES factors and their associations with cross-sectional and longitudinal cognitive outcomes of episodic memory, semantic memory, executive function, and spatial ability.
Child and adult factors were strongly related to domain-specific cognitive intercepts (0.20–0.48 SD per SD of SES factor); in contrast, SES factors were not related to global cognitive change (0.001–0.01 SD per year per SD of SES factor). Adulthood SES mediated a large percentage (68–75%) of the total early-life effect on cognition.
Early-life sociocontextual factors are more strongly associated with cross-sectional late-life cognitive performance compared to cognitive change; this effect is largely mediated through associations with adulthood SES.
Increasingly diverse caregiver populations have prompted studies examining culture and caregiver outcomes. Still, little is known about the influence of sociocultural factors and how they interact with caregiving context variables to influence psychological health. We explored the role of caregiving and acculturation factors on psychological distress among a diverse sample of adults.
Secondary data analysis of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS).
The 2009 CHIS surveyed 47,613 adults representative of the population of California. This study included Latino and Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) caregivers and non-caregivers (n = 13,161).
Multivariate weighted regression analyses examined caregiver status and acculturation variables (generational status, language of interview, and English language proficiency) and their associations with psychological distress (Kessler-6 scale). Covariates included caregiving context (e.g., support and neighborhood factors) and demographic variables.
First generation caregivers had more distress than first-generation non-caregivers (β=0.92, 95% CI: (0.18, 1.65)); the difference in distress between caregivers and non-caregivers was smaller in the third than first generation (β=-1.21, 95% CI: (-2.24, -0.17)). Among those who did not interview in English (β=1.17, 95% CI: (0.13, 2.22)) and with low English proficiency (β=2.60, 95% CI: (1.21, 3.98)), caregivers reported more distress than non-caregivers.
Non-caregivers exhibited the "healthy immigrant effect," where less acculturated individuals reported less distress. In contrast, caregivers who were less acculturated reported more distress.
This study evaluated: (1) apolipoprotein E (APOE) ϵ4 prevalence among Black, Latino, and White older adults, (2) associations of APOE ϵ4 status with baseline level and change over time of cognitive outcomes across groups, and (3) combined impact of APOE ϵ4 prevalence and magnitude of effect on cognitive decline within each racial/ethnic group.
Participants included 297 White, 138 Latino, and 149 Black individuals from the longitudinal UC Davis Diversity Cohort who had APOE genotyping and ≥2 cognitive assessments. Magnitude of associations of ϵ4 with cognitive baseline and change across racial/ethnic groups was tested with multilevel parallel process longitudinal analyses and multiple group models.
ϵ4 prevalence in Black (46%) and White participants (46%) was almost double that of Latino participants (24%). ϵ4 was associated with poorer baseline episodic memory only in White participants (p = .001), but had a moderately strong association with episodic memory change across all racial/ethnic groups (Blacks= −.061 SD/year, Latinos = −.055,Whites= −.055). ϵ4 association with semantic memory change was strongest in White participants (−.071), intermediate in Latino participants (−.041), and weakest in Black participants (−.022).
Calculated cognitive trajectories across racial/ethnic groups were influenced in an additive manner by ϵ4 prevalence and strength of association with cognitive decline within the group. Group differences in ϵ4 prevalences and associations of ϵ4 with cognition may suggest different pathways from APOE to cognitive decline, and, AD possibly having less salient impact on cognitive decline in non-White participants. Differential effects of APOE on episodic memory and non-memory cognition have important implications for understanding how APOE influences late life cognitive decline.
We examined the association of generational status and age at immigration with later life cognitive outcomes in a diverse sample of Latinos and Asian Americans.
Baseline data were obtained from the Kaiser Healthy Aging and Diverse Life Experiences (KHANDLE) study, and a prospective cohort is initiated in 2017.
Older adults in Northern California.
Our cohort consisted of Asians (n = 411) and Latinos (n = 340) who were on average 76 years old (SD = 6.8).
We used multivariable linear regression models to estimate associations between generational status and age at immigration (collapsed into one five-level variable) with measures of verbal episodic memory, semantic memory, and executive function, adjusting for age, gender, race and ethnicity, and own- and parental education.
Generational status and age at immigration were associated with cognitive outcomes in a graded manner. Compared to third-generation or higher immigrants, first-generation immigration in adulthood was associated with lower semantic memory (β = −0.96; 95% CI: −1.12, −0.81) than immigration in adolescence (β = −0.68; 95% CI: −0.96, −0.41) or childhood (β = −0.28; 95% CI: −0.49, −0.06). Moreover, immigration in adulthood was associated with lower executive function (β = −0.63; 95% CI: −0.78, −0.48) than immigration in adolescence (β = −0.49; 95% CI: −0.75, −0.23). Similarly, compared to third-generation individuals, first-generation immigrants had lower executive functioning scores.
Our study supports the notion that sociocontextual influences in early life impact later life cognitive scores. Longitudinal studies are needed to further clarify how immigration characteristics affect cognitive decline.
Low- and middle-income countries such as Vietnam are home to a majority of the world's population with dementia, yet little is known regarding how individuals in these countries perceive memory problems that might be indicative of cognitive impairment. This study examined the prevalence and correlates of subjective memory complaints (SMCs) in Vietnamese adults in Da Nang, Vietnam.
A stratified sample of 600 adults (aged ≥ 55 years) living in Da Nang, Vietnam, and surrounding areas were recruited to participate in a cross-sectional study. Students and faculty from the National Technical Medical College Number 2 administered questionnaires in participants’ homes regarding socio-demographic characteristics, functional health, social support, cognitive and mental health, and SMCs. Descriptive and stepwise regression analyses examined the prevalence and correlates of SMCs.
Approximately 64% of the sample reported at least poor memory and 39% said that memory interfered with their daily life at least somewhat. Multivariate regression analyses (adjusted for all covariates) showed that depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, self-rated health and pain, and material hardship were associated with SMCs.
Prevalence of SMCs as well as depressive symptoms was high in this Vietnamese population. Although future research using more detailed measures of subjective memory and which include longitudinal data are required, the need for physicians to routinely assess Vietnamese patients for depression, SMCs, and cognitive impairment may be warranted.
Caregiving for older adults is a growing public health concern because of the negative psychological effects it has on caregivers. Despite the growing Latino caregiver population, little is known regarding how the effects of acculturation on caregiver depressive symptoms might vary by caregiver age. This study aimed to examine the relationship between language acculturation and depressive symptoms in Latino caregivers, and to test whether this relationship was moderated by age.
Ninety-four Latino caregivers of cognitively impaired older adults with and without dementia were identified through an ongoing epidemiological cohort study. Caregivers were interviewed in their homes, in either Spanish or English. A Poisson regression was used to analyze the caregiver characteristics associated with caregiver depressive symptoms.
Language acculturation was positively associated with caregiver depressive symptoms, as was age, female gender, and being married or living with someone. Those with excellent or good health and who had spent more than one year caregiving had lower depressive symptoms. Finally, the positive relationship between language acculturation and depressive symptoms was increased in older caregivers.
Language acculturation appears to be a risk factor for depressive symptoms in Latino caregivers of cognitively impaired older adults. The relationship between language acculturation and depressive symptoms is complex such that caregiver age and health status further nuance this relationship. Future research should explore the independent and interactive effects of these variables on depressive symptoms.
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