Social network characteristics and cognition in middle-aged and older adults
Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Meyers Primary Care Institute
Medical Subject Headings
Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Cognition Disorders; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Humans; Logistic Models; Male; Mass Screening; Middle Aged; Neuropsychological Tests; Severity of Illness Index; *Social Support
Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Geriatrics | Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health
We examined the relationship between social network characteristics and global cognitive status in a community-based sample of 354 adults aged 50+ and with Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores of 28+ at baseline. Multivariate analyses indicated that interaction in larger social networks related to better maintenance of MMSE scores and reduced odds of decline to population-based lower quartile MMSE scores at follow-up 12 years later. At follow-up, higher levels of interpersonal activity (more frequent contacts in larger social networks) and exposure to emotional support independently related positively to MMSE. The findings suggest that interaction in larger social networks is a marker that portends less cognitive decline, and that distinct associational paths link interpersonal activity and emotional support to cognitive function.
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Citation: J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2004 Nov;59(6):P278-84. doi 10.1093/geronb/59.6.P278