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Education modifies the relationship between height and cognitive function in a cross-sectional population-based study of older adults in Rural South Africa
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. MRC-Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. MRC-Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
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2019 (English)In: European Journal of Epidemiology, ISSN 0393-2990, E-ISSN 1573-7284, Vol. 34, no 2, p. 131-139Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We aimed to estimate the relationship between height (a measure of early-life cumulative net nutrition) and later-life cognitive function among older rural South African adults, and whether education modified this relationship. Data were from baseline in-person interviews with 5059 adults40years in the population-based Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa (HAALSI) study in Agincourt sub-district, South Africa, in 2015. Linear regression was used to estimate the relationship between height quintile and latent cognitive function z-score (representing episodic memory, time orientation, and numeracy), with adjustment for life course covariates and a height-by-education interaction. Mean (SD) height was 162.7 (8.9) cm. Nearly half the sample had no formal education (46%; 2307/5059). Mean age- and sex-adjusted cognitive z-scores increased from -0.68 (95% CI: -0.76 to -0.61) in those with no education in the shortest height quintile to 0.62 (95% CI: 0.52-0.71) in those with at least 8years of education in the tallest height quintile. There was a linear height disparity in cognitive z-scores for those with no formal education (adjusted =0.10; 95% CI: 0.08-0.13 per height quintile), but no height disparity in cognitive z-scores in those with any level of education. Short stature is associated with poor cognitive function and may be a risk factor for cognitive impairment among older adults living in rural South Africa. The height disparity in cognitive function was negated for older adults who had any level of education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019. Vol. 34, no 2, p. 131-139
Keywords [en]
Cognitive function, Older adults, Education, Height, South Africa
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-156891DOI: 10.1007/s10654-018-0453-1ISI: 000458429900005PubMedID: 30306424OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-156891DiVA, id: diva2:1295200
Available from: 2019-03-11 Created: 2019-03-11 Last updated: 2019-03-20Bibliographically approved

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Wagner, Ryan G.Kahn, KathleenTollman, Stephen M.

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