J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2013 Jun;17(1):32-36.

The Effect of Subjective Physical and Mental Health on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea. antiaging@ajou.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Myongji Hospital, Goyang, Korea.
  • 3Institute on Aging, Ajou University Medical Center, Suwon, Korea.
  • 4Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.
  • 5National Health Insurance Service, Seoul, Korea.
  • 6Seoul Metropolitan Eunpyeong Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 7Department of Psychiatry, National Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 8Suwon Geriatric Mental Health Center, Suwon, Korea.
  • 9Memory Impairment Center, Ajou University Hospital, Suwon, Korea.


The aim of this study was to describe subjective physical and mental health assessed by the single item self-rated physical health (SRPH), and self-rated mental health (SRMH) had influence on the cognitive decline in community-dwelling elderly.
This study was based on the Suwon Project, a cohort comprising of non-random convenience samples of ethnic Koreans aged 60 years and above. 1,356 individuals were assessed at 2 time points 2 years apart for questionnaire which included demographic characteristics, medical history, Korean Mini-Mental State Examination (K-MMSE), Korean version of Geriatric Depression Scale (SGDS-K), SRPH, and SRMH. Multiple logistic regression was used to assess K-MMSE score change from the SRPH, and SRMH.
At baseline, both SRPH (beta=0.18, p<0.01) and SRMH (beta=0.19, p<0.01) score positively associated with the K-MMSE score. At follow-up, subjects with baseline lower SRMH score had significantly greater decline in K-MMSE score (beta=0.09, p=0.007). However, baseline SRPH score showed no effect to follow up K-MMSE score before and after adjusting age, sex, education, number of chronic disease, SGDS-K, and baseline K-MMSE score (p=0.89).
Brief and easily collected subjective mental health may predict the risk of cognitive decline, but subjective physical health may not.


Subjective mental health; Subjective physical health; Cognition; Elderly

MeSH Terms

Chronic Disease
Cohort Studies
Follow-Up Studies
Logistic Models
Mental Health
Surveys and Questionnaires
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