Education, Childhood Conditions, and Dementia Life Expectancy in the Older U.S. Population

Matthew Farina , University of Texas at Austin
Mark D. Hayward, University of Texas at Austin
Eileen Crimmins, University of Southern California
Jung Ki Kim, University of Southern California

Prior research has found early-life conditions set in motion adult achievement processes and exposures to AD and dementia risk factors. Our research focuses on the question how do early-life conditions and education combine to influence dementia and mortality? We draw on the Health and Retirement Study, 2000-2016, and use a multivariate, multi-state life table (MSLT) approach that incorporates information on childhood health, socioeconomic context, and educational attainment to estimate subgroup differences in dementia life expectancy. Comparisons of the expectancies allows us to assess the “net effect” of adult conditions on dementia life expectancy in terms of years of life. This study informs our understanding of how education, a critical indicator of cognitive reserve and risk factor for AD and dementia, influences the cognitive health of older Americans.

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 Presented in Session 6. Health & Mortality & Aging