J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  1999 Jan;38(1):166-172.

Cognitive Function and Survival among the Elderly in a Rural Korean Community

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Catholic University of Taegu-Hyosung School of Medicine, Taegu, Korea.


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the relationship between cognitive functions and death in the elderly. METHOD: The MMSEK was administered to a community elderly population aged 65 or more. The initial MMSEK score and age were compared between the 6-yr survivors and 6-yr decedents. Relative risks of death were calculated in terms of sex, age, and educational level.
The decedents were older and poorer in MMSEK performances except for orientation in place. The relative risk of death was 1.08 in the persons with questionable cognitive impairment and 1.94 in the persons with definite impairment. It was 1.13 in the illiterates and 1.26 in the educated.
In the elderly the prospective survival and death may be related to severe cognitive decline, male sex, and old age, but not to mild cognitive decline, educational level, and remote memory.


Aged; Cognition; Survival
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