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Education and cognitive change over 15 years: the atherosclerosis risk in communities study.

TitleEducation and cognitive change over 15 years: the atherosclerosis risk in communities study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsSchneider ALC, Sharrett ARichey, Patel MD, Alonso A, Coresh JJ, Mosley T, Selnes O, Selvin E
Secondary AuthorsGottesman RF
JournalJ Am Geriatr Soc
Volume60
Issue10
Pagination1847-53
Date Published2012 Oct
ISSN1532-5415
KeywordsAged, Atherosclerosis, Cognition, Educational Status, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, Time Factors
Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate whether education level is associated with change in cognitive performance.

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.

SETTING: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, a community-based cohort.

PARTICIPANTS: Nine thousand two hundred sixty-eight ARIC participants who underwent cognitive evaluation at least twice over a 15-year period.

MEASUREMENTS: Education was evaluated as a predictor of change in word recall, the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), and word fluency. A random-effects linear regression model, and a time by educational level interaction was used.

RESULTS: Educational level was highly associated with cognitive performance. The effect on performance of a less than high school education (vs more than high school) was equivalent to the effect of as much as 22 years of cognitive aging, but educational level was not associated with change in cognitive performance in whites or blacks, with the exception of the DSST for whites, in whom those with lower levels of education had less decline in scores.

CONCLUSION: Educational level was not associated with change in cognitive performance, although the higher baseline cognitive performance of individuals with more education might explain lower rates of dementia in more-educated individuals, because more decline would have to take place between baseline higher performance and time at which dementia was diagnosed in more-educated individuals.

DOI10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.04164.x
Alternate JournalJ Am Geriatr Soc
PubMed ID23013064
PubMed Central IDPMC3662980
Grant ListN01HC55020 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100012C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100009I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100010C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100008C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100005G / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100008I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100011I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100011C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
U01 HL075572 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100006C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01-HL70825 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100005I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100009C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 HL070825 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100005C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
U01HL075572-01 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
T32 DK062707 / DK / NIDDK NIH HHS / United States