J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2014 Oct;18(2):51-54. 10.0000/jkgp.2014.18.2.51.

Correlation between Head Circumference and Cognition in the Elderly

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea. sjsonpsy@ajou.ac.kr, antiaging@ajou.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, CHA Gangnam Medical Center, CHA University, Seongnam, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, National Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.
  • 5Institute on Aging, Ajou University Medical Center, Suwon, Korea.
  • 6National Health Insurance Service, Seoul, Korea.


Head circumference (HC) has been reported to be an index of cognitive functioning in the elderly and in Alzheimer's patients. The object of the study is to find the relationship between HC and cognition.
A total of 7,603 subjects over 60 years of age were analyzed from preliminary data of Gwangju Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment Study. HC was manually measured and cognitive functioning was assessed by the Korean version of the Mini Mental State Examination (K-MMSE).
Correlational analysis showed that HC was associated with age (r=-0.14, p<0.01), education (r=0.33, p<0.01), height (r=0.26, p<0.01), and K-MMSE (r=0.28, p<0.01). Also, even after adjusting for confounding variables (age, education, height, gender) the positive association between HC and K-MMSE score remained significant (beta=0.18, p<0.001).
The results suggest that HC may play an important role in predicting cognitive impairment in the elderly.


Head circumference; Cognition; Elderly
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