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Body weight is a major risk determinant of frailty, but the effect of obesity on frailty is controversial. The present study aimed to confirm the hypothesis that the risk of frailty is positively associated with obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2), but the association is mediated by the waist:height ratio (WHtR) in older women and men. A total of 2862 community-dwelling older individuals aged 70–84 years were assessed for frailty using the Korean version of Fatigue, Resistance, Ambulation, Illnesses, and Loss of weight index. Obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) was associated with a higher risk of frailty compared with BMI 18·5–<23 kg/m2 in all the older individuals (OR 1·88; 95 % CI 1·11, 3·17; P = 0·018) and in older women (OR 1·86; 95 % CI 1·01, 3·42; P = 0·047) before adjusting for WHtR but was not associated with BMI after adjusting for WHtR. Additionally, obesity was not significantly associated with the risk of frailty before and after adjusting for WHtR in older men. Mediation analysis revealed that the association between BMI and frailty score was mediated by WHtR. Moreover, the mediating effect of WHtR on frailty score was positive in both women and men, but the frailty score was associated with BMI positively in women and negatively in men. The present study suggests that the risk of frailty is higher in obese women, which is mediated by WHtR, but not in obese men.
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
The study's aim was to examine the association of alcohol consumption with verbal and visuospatial memory impairment in older people.
Participants were 1,572, aged ≥60 years, in the hospital-based registry of the Clinical Research Center for Dementia of South Korea (CREDOS). Moderate drinking was defined as no more than seven drinks per week and three drinks per day. Memory impairment was defined as performance with more than 1 standard deviation below the mean value on the Seoul Verbal Learning Test and Rey Complex Figure Test.
Those who consumed alcohol moderately, compared with abstainers, had a lower odds of verbal memory impairment (Odds Ratio [OR] = 0.64; 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 0.46–0.87), adjusting for covariates. Visuospatial memory, however, was not significantly associated with alcohol consumption.
Moderate alcohol drinking is associated with a reduced likelihood of verbal memory impairment among older people attending memory clinics.
Frailty is highly prevalent in older people, but its association with cognitive function is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to examine the association between cognitive function and frailty in community-dwelling older adults.
Data were from the 2008 Living Profiles of Older People Survey, comprising 10,388 nationally representative sample aged 65 years and older living in the community in South Korea. Frailty criteria included unintentional weight loss, exhaustion, weakness, low physical activity, and slow walking speed. Cognitive function was assessed using the Korean version of the Mini-Mental State Examination. Multinomial logistic regression models were constructed with frailty status regressed on cognitive impairment and subdomains of cognitive function, adjusting for covariates.
Those who were frail showed a higher percentage of cognitive impairment (55.8% in men, 35.2% in women) than those who were not (22.1% in men, 15.6% in women). Cognitive impairment was associated with an increased risk of frailty in men (odds ratio (OR) = 1.81, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.25–2.60) and women (OR = 1.69, 95% CI: 1.25–2.30) even after controlling for all covariates. Among the subdomains of cognitive function, time orientation, registration, attention, and judgment were associated with a lower likelihood of frailty in both men and women after adjusting for confounders. Among women higher scores on recall, language components, and visual construction were also significantly associated with lower odds of frailty.
Cognitive impairment was associated with a higher likelihood of frailty in community-dwelling older men and women. Total scores and specific subdomains of cognitive function were inversely associated with frailty.
Background: Highly educated participants with normal cognition show lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) than poorly educated participants, whereas longitudinal studies involving AD have reported that higher education is associated with more rapid cognitive decline. We aimed to evaluate whether highly educated amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) participants show more rapid cognitive decline than those with lower levels of education.
Methods: A total of 249 aMCI patients enrolled from 31 memory clinics using the standard assessment and diagnostic processes were followed with neuropsychological evaluation (duration 17.2 ± 8.8 months). According to baseline performances on memory tests, participants were divided into early-stage aMCI (−1.5 to −1.0 standard deviation (SD)) and late-stage aMCI (below −1.5 SD) groups. Risk of AD conversion and changes in neuropsychological performances according to the level of education were evaluated.
Results: Sixty-two patients converted to AD over a mean follow-up of 1.43 years. The risk of AD conversion was higher in late-stage aMCI than early-stage aMCI. Cox proportional hazard models showed that aMCI participants, and late-stage aMCI participants in particular, with higher levels of education had a higher risk of AD conversion than those with lower levels of education. Late-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed faster cognitive decline in language, memory, and Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR-SOB) scores. On the contrary, early-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed slower cognitive decline in MMSE and CDR-SOB scores.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the protective effects of education against cognitive decline remain in early-stage aMCI and disappear in late-stage aMCI.
The authors regret that they incorrectly cited the source of financial support in the original publication. The acknowledgment should have read: This study was supported by the Health Promotion Fund, Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, Republic of Korea (08-23) and a grant of the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry for Health, Welfare & Family Affairs, Republic of Korea (A050079).
Background: An increasing body of evidence suggests that health behaviors may protect against cognitive impairment and dementia. The purpose of this study was to summarize the current evidence on health behavioral factors predicting cognitive health through a systematic review of the published literature.
Methods: PubMed, Embase, and PsycINFO databases were searched for studies on community representative samples aged 65 and older, with prospective cohort design and multivariate analysis. The outcome – cognitive health – was defined as a continuum of cognitive function ranging from cognitive decline to impairment and dementia, and health behaviors included physical activity, smoking, alcohol drinking, body mass index, and diet and nutrition.
Results: Of 12,105 abstracts identified, 690 relevant full-texts were reviewed. The final yield amounted to 115 articles of which 37 studies were chosen that met the highest standards of quality. Leisure time physical activity, even of moderate level, showed protective effects against dementia, whereas smoking elevated the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Moderate alcohol consumption tended to be protective against cognitive decline and dementia, but nondrinkers and frequent drinkers exhibited a higher risk for dementia and cognitive impairment. Midlife obesity had an adverse effect on cognitive function in later life. Analysis showed vegetable and fish consumption to be of benefit, whereas, persons consuming a diet high in saturated fat had an increased dementia risk.
Conclusion: The review demonstrates accumulating evidence supporting health behavioral effects in reducing the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Results indicate potential benefits of healthy lifestyles in protecting cognitive health in later life.
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