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Cognitive Function and Impairment in Older, Rural South African Adults: Evidence from "Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community 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), School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
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2019 (English)In: Neuroepidemiology, ISSN 0251-5350, E-ISSN 1423-0208, Vol. 52, no 1-2, p. 32-40Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background/Aims: We aimed to estimate the prevalence of cognitive impairment, and the sociodemographic and comorbid predictors of cognitive function among older, rural South African adults.

Methods: Data were from a population-based study of 5,059 adults aged >= 40 years in rural South Africa in 2015. Cognitive impairment was defined as scoring <= 1.5 SDs below the mean composite time orientation and memory score, or requiring a proxy interview with "fair" or "poor" proxy-reported memory. Multiple linear regression estimated the sociodemographic and comorbid predictors of cognitive score, with multiplicative statistical interactions between each of age and sex with education.

Results: Cognitive impairment increased with age, from 2% of those aged 40-44 (11/516) to 24% of those aged >= 75 years (214/899). The independent predictors of lower cognitive score were being older, female, unmarried, not working, having low education, low household wealth, and a history of cardiovascular conditions. Education modified the negative associations between female sex, older age, and cognitive function score. Conclusions: The prevalence of cognitive impairment increased with age and is comparable to rates of dementia reported in other sub-Saharan African countries. Age and sex differences in cognitive function scores were minimized as education increased, potentially reflecting the power of even poor-quality education to improve cognitive reserve.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
S. Karger, 2019. Vol. 52, no 1-2, p. 32-40
Keywords [en]
Africa, Age factors, Education, Cross-sectional studies, Epidemiology, Prevalence, Sex, sociodemographic characteristics, Cognitive function, Cognitive impairment
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-157232DOI: 10.1159/000493483ISI: 000459515400004PubMedID: 30476911OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-157232DiVA, id: diva2:1297639
Available from: 2019-03-20 Created: 2019-03-20 Last updated: 2019-03-20Bibliographically approved

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Wagner, Ryan G.Kahn, Kathleen

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