Cognitive function in the Caerphilly study: associations with age social class, education and mood.
Gallacher JE., Elwood PC., Hopkinson C., Rabbitt PM., Stollery BT., Sweetnam PM., Brayne C., Huppert FA.
Baseline cognitive function was established for a study of pre-symptomatic cognitive decline in 1870 men from the general population aged 55-69 years as part of the third examination of the Caerphilly Study. Cognitive assessment included the AH4, a four choice serial reaction time task, a modified CAMCOG, MMSE, NART and various memory tests. Distributions and relationships with age, social class, education and mood at time of testing are presented for a younger population than has previously been available. Multiple linear regression showed cognitive function to be independently associated with all four factors. The age effect was equivalent to one half of a standard deviation (SD) in CRT and AH4 scores. Only the NART score was not associated with age, supporting the use of NART score as an estimate of pre-morbid IQ. The largest age adjusted differences between men with low and normal mood were for the AH4 (3 points, t = 5.6, p < 0.0001) and the CAMCOG (2 points, t = 5.8, p < 0.0001). The smallest age adjusted effect of mood was for the CRT (33 ms, t = 2.14, p = 0.32) and the MMSE (0.4 points, t = 2.97, p = 0.003). Age, mood and education adjusted social class effects were very large ranging between around 0.5 SD for the CRT, and 1.0 SD for the AH4 and NART, respectively. For educational status age, mood and social class adjusted differences were also substantial with tests for trend showing the largest differences for the NART (t = 12, p < 0.0001) and modified CAMCOG (t = 10.6, p < 0.0001) with the smallest differences for the CRT (t = 2.73, p = 0.006).