Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neighborhood status influences older women's cognitive function, study finds

Date:
August 2, 2011
Source:
RAND Corporation
Summary:
Older women who live in a lower socioeconomic status neighborhood are more likely to exhibit lower cognitive functioning than women who live in more affluent neighborhoods, according to a new study.

Older women who live in a lower socioeconomic status neighborhood are more likely to exhibit lower cognitive functioning than women who live in more affluent neighborhoods, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

The study, published online by the American Journal of Public Health, is the largest of its type to examine whether living in a poor neighborhood is associated with lower cognitive function.

The study found that potential confounders such as vascular health, health behaviors and psychosocial factors such as depressive symptoms explained only a portion of the relationship between neighborhood socioeconomic status and cognitive function.

"This study provides the best evidence yet that living in a neighborhood with lower socioeconomic standing can have an impact on women's cognitive abilities in late life," said Regina A. Shih, the study's lead author and a behavioral scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "More work is needed to find out whether living in a lower socioeconomic status neighborhood influences cognitive decline that may affect a woman's risk of developing dementia, and to consider ways to intervene."

Researchers analyzed information collected from 6,137 women from across the United States who were surveyed as a part of the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study, an ancillary study to the Women's Health Initiative hormone therapy trials.

Women from 39 locations who were at least 65 years old and free of dementia were enrolled in the memory study from May 1996 to December 1999. All the women in the study were given a standard test that measures cognitive function by assessing items such as memory, reasoning and spatial functions.

Researchers found that women who lived in neighborhoods with lower socioeconomic status were substantially more likely to have low cognitive scores than similar women who lived in more affluent neighborhoods.

Unlike previous reports, the latest study did not find that older individuals are more vulnerable to the effects of neighborhood socioeconomic status because of a longer exposure to poor or declining neighborhoods.

The study also found that non-whites may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of living in a neighborhood with a lower socioeconomic status. But researchers did not find that an individual's income level or education strengthened or weakened the relationship between neighborhood socioeconomic status and their cognitive functioning.

Support for the study was provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by RAND Corporation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. A. Shih, B. Ghosh-Dastidar, K. L. Margolis, M. E. Slaughter, A. Jewell, C. E. Bird, C. Eibner, N. L. Denburg, J. Ockene, C. R. Messina, M. A. Espeland. Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and Cognitive Function in Women.. American Journal of Public Health, 2011; DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300169

Cite This Page:

RAND Corporation. "Neighborhood status influences older women's cognitive function, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110802125604.htm>.
RAND Corporation. (2011, August 2). Neighborhood status influences older women's cognitive function, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110802125604.htm
RAND Corporation. "Neighborhood status influences older women's cognitive function, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110802125604.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins