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Social support and cognition in a community-based cohort: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study.

TitleSocial support and cognition in a community-based cohort: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKats D, Patel MD, Palta P, Meyer ML, Gross AL, Whitsel EA, Knopman D, Alonso A, Mosley TH
Secondary AuthorsHeiss G
JournalAge Ageing
Volume45
Issue4
Pagination475-80
Date Published2016 07
ISSN1468-2834
KeywordsAfrican Americans, Age Factors, Cognition, Cognition Disorders, Cognitive Aging, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Prognosis, Protective Factors, Psychosocial Support Systems, Risk Factors, Social Support, Time Factors, United States
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: social support has demonstrated cross-sectional associations with greater cognitive function and a protective effect against cognitive decline in older adults, but exploration of its temporal role in cognitive ageing from mid-life to older adulthood has been limited. We aimed to quantify the associations of social support, assessed at mid-life, with cognitive function in mid-life and with cognitive decline into late life among African Americans and Caucasians.

METHODS: data from the community-based, prospective Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) cohort of 15,792 biracial participants were examined for baseline and longitudinal associations of mid-life social support with global cognition at mid-life and with 20-year change in global cognition, respectively, stratified by race. Interactions with sociodemographic and cardiometabolic covariates were additionally explored within each race group. Social support was ascertained using two metrics: interpersonal support and social network.

RESULTS: interpersonal support was directly associated with greater global cognition at baseline in both race groups. Social network was directly associated with greater global cognition at baseline among Caucasians and African American females, but it was not significantly associated with global cognition in African American males. Neither mid-life social support measure was associated with 20-year change in global cognition.

CONCLUSIONS: higher levels of social support were moderately associated with greater multi-dimensional cognitive function at mid-life, but mid-life social support was not associated with temporal change in global cognitive function over 20 years into late life. Prospective studies with time-dependent measures of social support and cognition are needed to better understand the role of social engagement in ageing-related cognitive functioning.

DOI10.1093/ageing/afw060
Alternate JournalAge Ageing
PubMed ID27107128
PubMed Central IDPMC5006245
Grant ListHHSN268201100008C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
U01 HL096812 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100007C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
P50 AG005146 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01 HL096917 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100011C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
U01 HL096902 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 HL070825 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100012C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
U01 HL096814 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100005C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100009C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
U01 HL096899 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100006C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
T32 HL007055 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100010C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States