Age Patterns in Self-Reported Cognitive Impairment Among Older Latino Subgroups and Non-Latino Whites in the United States, 1997-2018: Implications for Public Health Policy

Marc A. Garcia, David F. Warner, Catherine García, Brian Downer, Mukaila Raji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and Objectives: U.S. Latinos are a heterogeneous population with unique characteristics related to individual-level socioeconomic and contextual factors based on nativity status and country of origin. Population aging and greater public awareness of dementia may contribute to an increasing prevalence of self-reported cognitive impairment. However, population-level trends in self-reported cognitive impairment among Latinos are unclear and it is unknown whether there are differences among Latino subgroups. Thus, this study aims to examine heterogeneity in self-reported cognitive impairment among older U.S. Latino subgroups. Research Design and Methods: We used data from the 1997-2018 National Health Interview Survey to document age-specific patterns in self-reported cognitive impairment among U.S.-born Mexican, foreign-born Mexican, island-born Puerto Rican, foreign-born Cuban, and U.S.-born non-Latino Whites aged 60 and older. We estimated hierarchical age-period-cohort cross-classified random effects models (HAPC-CCREM) to isolate age patterns in self-reported cognitive impairment across disaggregated Latino subgroups and U.S.-born non-Latino Whites. Results: The overall prevalence of self-reported cognitive impairment increased from 6.0% in 1997 to 7.1% in 2018. This increase was evident among U.S.-born non-Latino Whites and U.S.-born and foreign-born Mexicans but not other Latino subgroups. Fully adjusted HAPC-CCREM estimates indicated that Latinos were more likely to self-report cognitive impairment than U.S-born non-Latino Whites (b = 0.371, p <. 001). When disaggregated by Latino subgroup, the difference in the likelihood for self-reported cognitive impairment compared to U.S.-born non-Latino Whites was greatest for island-born Puerto Ricans (b = 0.598, p <. 001) and smallest for foreign-born Cubans (b = 0.131, p >. 05). Discussion and Implications: We found evidence of considerable heterogeneity in the age patterns of self-reported cognitive impairment among U.S. Latino subgroups. We also detected large differences in the likelihood for self-reported cognitive impairment between U.S. Latino subgroups compared to U.S.-born non-Latino Whites. These results underscore the importance of differentiating between unique Latino subpopulations when studying population-level trends in cognitive function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberigab039
JournalInnovation in Aging
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cognitive aging
  • Racial/ethnic data disaggregation
  • Subjective cognitive decline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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