7% – 26% of retired Americans over 65 have Dementia or cognitive impairment

Assessment of cognition using surveys and neuropsychological assessment: the Health and Retirement Study and the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study.

OBJECTIVES:

This study examines the similarity of cognitive assessments using 1 interview in a large population study, the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), and a subsample in which a detailed neuropsychiatric assessment has been performed (Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study [ADAMS]).

METHODS:

Respondents are diagnosed in ADAMS as demented, cognitively impaired without dementia (CIND), or as having normal cognitive function. Multinomial logistic analysis is used to predict diagnosis using a variety of cognitive and noncognitive measures from the HRS and additional measures and information from ADAMS.

RESULTS:

The cognitive tests in HRS predict the ADAMS diagnosis in 74% of the sample able to complete the HRS survey on their own. Proxy respondents answer for a large proportion of HRS respondents who are diagnosed as demented in ADAMS. Classification of proxy respondents with some cognitive impairment can be predicted in 86% of the sample. Adding a small number of additional tests from ADAMS can increase each of these percentages to 84% and 93%, respectively.

DISCUSSION:

Cognitive assessment appropriate for diagnosis of dementia and CIND in large population surveys could be improved with more targeted information from informants and additional cognitive tests targeting other areas of brain function.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21743047

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