Stability in cognitive function over 18 years: Prevalence and predictors among older Mexican Americans

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23 Scopus citations


Purpose: Numerous studies have examined the association of physical, behavioral and social factors with cognitive decline in older adults. Less attention has been placed on factors associated with long-term maintenance of intact cognition even into very old age. A greater understanding of those factors can inform the development of activities for maintaining cognitive strength. Methods: Using a sample from the Hispanic Established Populations for Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly, a population-based study of non-institutionalized Mexican Americans aged 65 and older from five Southwestern states (N =2767), latent class mixture models were developed to identify subgroups of cognitive change over time. Results: Three distinct trajectories of cognitive change were identified and characterized as stable, slow decline and rapid decline. Compared to the rapid decline group, a higher proportion of the stable cognition group were women, had high school education, were married and attended church one or more times per week. Regular church attendance had a significant positive impact in the stable group (β = 0.64, p <0.01), the slow decline group (β = 0.84, p <0.001) and the rapid decline group (β= 2.50, p <0.001). Activity limitations had a consistently negative association with cognition in the stable, slow decline and rapid decline groups (β = -0.37, p <0.001; β = -0.85, p <0.001; and β = -1.58, p <0.001 respectively). Conclusion: Substantial heterogeneity exists in rates of cognitive decline among older Mexican Americans. Interventions targeting cognitive maintenance may benefit from increased focus on factors associated with continued social engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)614-621
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Alzheimer Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2015


  • Aging
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive change
  • Hispanic
  • Resilience
  • Social support
  • Trajectory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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