Old and Wise: Assessing the Link Between Cognition and Overall Well-being in Later Life

Y Selvamani

Cognitive health reflects mental capacities which are important contributor of overall wellbeing in old age. In this study, we assess the association between cognitive ability with multidimensional wellbeing measures such as WHO-QoL scale, functional health, general health, among older adults in aged 50+. Cross-country analysis is performed using the WHO-SAGE and SHARE data for Low and Middle and High-Income Countries. To understand the composite effect of cognition on overall wellbeing, we made a cognitive index combining four variables: verbal fluency, verbal recall, digit span forward and digit span backward. Regression results indicate that higher cognitive ability is associated with lower risks of reporting poor self-rated health, 1+ADL and 1+IADL limitations. Higher cognitive ability is positively associated with quality of life score and physical function measures across countries. Improving cognitive abilities across the life course are important to improve the overall wellbeing in later life.

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 Presented in Session 6. Health & Mortality & Aging