Journal Article

Social Participation and Cognitive Decline Among Community-dwelling Older Adults: A Community-based Longitudinal Study

Kimiko Tomioka, Norio Kurumatani and Hiroshi Hosoi

in The Journals of Gerontology: Series B

Published on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America

Volume 73, issue 5, pages 799-806
Published in print June 2018 | ISSN: 1079-5014
Published online May 2016 | e-ISSN: 1758-5368 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbw059
Social Participation and Cognitive Decline Among Community-dwelling Older Adults: A Community-based Longitudinal Study

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  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Gerontology and Ageing

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Abstract

Objective

To examine whether social participation (SP) by older individuals is associated with cognitive decline (CD).

Method

Participants were community-dwelling older adults aged 65 or older with both independent activities of daily living and normal cognitive performance at baseline (2,768 men and 3,325 women). CD was evaluated using the Cognitive Performance Scale. Logistic regression analysis stratified by gender was used to examine CD in relation to SP, with nonparticipation as reference. Age, family, body mass index, pensions, comorbidities, medications, alcohol, smoking, depression, self-rated health, and instrumental activities of daily living were used as covariates.

Results

During the 3-year follow-up, 16.7% of eligible participants reported CD. After covariate adjustments, greater social group participation was associated with CD prevention for women only. Lessened negative CD effects were found in respondents active in these particular types of social outlets: neighborhood associations (odds ratio = 0.81, 95% confidence interval = 0.66–0.99) and local event groups (0.79, 0.63–0.99) for men, and hobby groups (0.70, 0.54–0.91) and volunteer groups (0.66, 0.45–0.96) for women.

Discussion

Our results suggest that greater social group participation prevents CD in women, while the beneficial effect of each type of SP on cognition differs between genders. Determining which types of social groups are best for community-dwelling older people’s participation based on gender may help them maintain their cognitive functioning abilities.

Keywords: Cognitive decline; Gender difference; Older adults; Prospective study; Social participation

Journal Article.  5493 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Geriatric Medicine ; Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Gerontology and Ageing

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