Socioeconomic Status and the Onset of Alzheimer’s-Related Accelerated Cognitive Declines

Sean A. P. Clouston , Stony Brook University, State University of New York (SUNY)
Yun Zhang, Stony Brook University, State University of New York (SUNY)

Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia (ADRD) is a costly disease that is sensitive to avoidable risk factors. This study examined whether socioeconomic status (SES) was associated with incidence of ADRD-related cognitive declines. The outcome was ADRD-pattern accelerated cognitive declines. Occupational SES was measured. Analyses used data from a nationally-representative cohort study of U.S. older adults. Respondents were included if they had valid occupational codes, no history of stroke, and valid information on key variables of interest (N=28,417). Layered Cox proportional hazards models were used to model survival. Life-expectancy ratios (LER) were reported. Survival models indicated that that incidence of ADRD-pattern declines was 7.3% per year. Analyses uniquely revealed that higher SES was associated with longer life expectancy (LER=1.043, 95% C.I. = [1.042-1.044]). This was the first study to separately examine SES in relation to healthy cognitive aging and ADRD-pattern cognitive declines. Analyses supported sociological and aging theories of cognitive decline.

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 Presented in Session 6. Health & Mortality & Aging