Predictors of decline in MMSE scores among older Mexican Americans

Ha T. Nguyen, Sandra A. Black, Laura A. Ray, David V. Espino, Kyriakos S. Markides

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89 Scopus citations


Background. The purpose of this analysis was to examine the association of sociodemographic variables and health-related conditions with 5-year declines in cognitive function among Mexican American elderly persons. Methods. The cognitive function of 1759 participants was assessed by using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) in 1993/1994 and again in 1998/1999. Cognitive decline was defined by two sets of criteria: (1) a drop to 17 or below on the MMSE at follow-up, and (2) a decline of at least three points, the mean change in MMSE scores among respondents who obtained scores at or above the 5th percentile distribution at baseline. Results. Cognitive decline was significantly associated with sociodemographic variables including age, education, marital status, and household composition. In addition, respondents with reported vision impairment, stroke, and diabetes were at increased risk for cognitive decline after controlling for multiple potential confounders. Conclusion. Although age and education have been reported as the more salient predictors of cognitive deterioration, other sociodemographic and several medical conditions including stroke and diabetes should be considered as part of cognitive aging studies among Mexican American elders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)M181-M185
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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