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Determinants of processing speed trajectories among middle aged or older adults, and their association with chronic illnesses: The English longitudinal study of aging

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journal contribution
posted on 23.06.2021, 03:45 by V Gkotzamanis, G Koliopanos, A Sanchez-Niubo, B Olaya, FF Caballero, JL Ayuso-Mateos, S Chatterji, JM Haro, Demosthenes Panagiotakos
The aim of this study was to identify latent groups of similar trajectories in processing speed through aging, as well as factors that are associated with these trajectories. In the context of the Ageing Trajectories of Health: Longitudinal Opportunities and Synergies (ATHLOS) project, data from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA) (n = 12099) were analyzed. Latent groups of similar trajectories in the processing scores as well as their predictors and covariates were investigated, using group-based trajectory models (GBTM). The coefficient estimates for potential group predictors correspond to parameters of multinomial logit functions that are integrated in the model. Potential predictors included sex, level of education, marital status, level of household wealth, level of physical activity, and history of smoking, while time-varying covariates included incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes mellitus, depressive symptoms, and sleep disturbances. Four trajectories were identified and named after their baseline scores and shapes: High (4.4%), Middle/Stable (31.5%), Low/Stable (44.5%), and Low Decline (19.6%). Female sex, higher levels of education, mild level of physical activity, having been married, and higher level of wealth were associated with a higher probability of belonging to any of the higher groups compared to the Low/Decline that was set as reference, while presence of CVD, diabetes mellitus, and depressive symptoms were associated with lower processing speed scores within most trajectories. All the aforementioned factors might be valid targets for interventions to reduce the burden of age-related cognitive impairment.


This work was supported by the five-year Ageing Trajectories of Health: Longitudinal Opportunities and Synergies (ATHLOS) project. The ATHLOS project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 635316. ELSA is supported by NationalInstitute on Aging Grants 2R01AG7644-01A1 and2R01AG017644. BO's work is supported by the PERIS program 2016-2020 "Ajuts per a la Incorporacio de Cientifics i Tecnolegs"[grant number SLT006/17/00066], with the support of the Health Department of the Generalitat de Catalunya.


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