J Prev Med Public Health.  2007 Mar;40(2):162-168. 10.3961/jpmph.2007.40.2.162.

Change of Cognitive Function and Associated Factors among the Rural Elderly: A 5-Year Follow-up Study

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Dongguk Univercity, College of Medicine, Korea.
  • 2Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Yeungnam Univercity, College of Medicine, Korea. pskang@ynu.ac.kr


OBJECTIVES: This prospective population-based cohort study was conducted to evaluate the risk factors of cognitive impairment and the degree of cognitive function change through a 5-year follow-up. METHODS: The baseline and follow-up surveys were conducted in 1998 and 2003, respectively. Among 176 subjects who had normal cognitive function in the baseline study, 136 were followed up for 5 years. The cognitive function was investigated using the Korean version of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE-K). The collected data were analyzed using SPSS and Stata. RESULTS: Of the 136 subjects analyzed, 25 (18.4%) were cognitively impaired. Old age and low social support in the baseline survey were risk factors for cognitive impairment after 5 years. In the generalized estimating equation for 128 subjects except severe cognitive impairment about the contributing factors of cognitive function change, the interval of 5 years decreased MMSE-K score by 1.02 and the cognitive function was adversely affected with increasing age, decreasing education and decreasing social support. CONCLUSIONS: Although the study population was small, it was considered that the study results can be used to develop a community-based prevention system for cognitive impairment.


Cognitive disorders; Cognition; Neuropsychological tests; Follow-up studies; Rural health
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