Age-related changes in cognitive domains. A population-based study

Angelo Scuteri, Luigi Palmieri, Cinzia Lo Noce, Simona Giampaoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and aims: The aim of the present study is to describe the effects of aging on various cognitive domains (global cognitive function, executive function, motor speed) in a population sample of elderly men, and to describe how their age-related changes are influenced by education, depression, or prevalent cerebrovascular accidents (CEVD). Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted in a cohort of 334 men, 65 to 95 years old, living in rural communities, participating in the Italian cohort of two population studies - MATISS (Malattie cardiovascolari ATerosclerotiche Istituto Superiore di Sanità) and FINE (Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Elderly). Global cognitive function was measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), executive function by the Stroop test, motor speed by the Purdue Pegboard test, and depression by the CES-D test. Prevalence of cerebrovascular accidents (CEVD), myocardial infarction, and diabetes were evaluated by a questionnaire and a clinical examination. Blood pressure, and total and HDL cholesterol were measured. Current smoking status was self-reported. Results: An age-associated decline in global cognitive functions, executive functions, and motor speed was observed. The decline is more apparent after the age of 85 for the MMSE, and after 75 for executive functions and motor speed. Logistic regression analysis revealed that age was independently associated with altered global cognitive functions, executive functions, and motor speed, even after adjusting for education, depression or prevalent CEVD. Conclusions: In a cohort of community-living elderly men aged 65 to 95 years, age-associated changes in mental functions are more evident after the age of 85. These changes are independent of education, depression, or prevalent CEVD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-373
Number of pages7
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Volume17
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Attention
  • Cognitive functions
  • Male population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing

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