Epidemiol Health.  2017;39:e2017054. 10.4178/epih.e2017054.

Factors affecting cognitive function according to gender in community-dwelling elderly individuals

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Nursing Science, Sangmyung University, Cheonan, Korea. kmw@smu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Nursing, Kyungin Women’s University, Incheon, Korea.

Abstract


OBJECTIVES
This study aimed to identify the factors affecting the cognitive function of elderly people in a community by gender.
METHODS
We obtained 4,878 secondary data of people aged ≥65 years in 2016 at a dementia prevention center in Gyeyang-gu, Incheon. Data were obtained through Mini-Mental Status Examination optimized for screening dementia and a questionnaire. The data were statistically analyzed using analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, and hierarchical regression.
RESULTS
There were significant differences in cognitive function according to gender, and the differences were significant even when age was controlled, but gender differences disappeared when education was controlled. Age, education, social activities, number of comorbid diseases, and alcohol drinking affected cognitive function through interaction with gender, but interaction with gender disappeared when education was controlled. Regression analysis showed that depression, cohabitant, social activities etc., had a significant impact on both men and women under controlled education and age. In men, the effect of social activities was greater than that of women, and hyperlipidemia had the effect only in women.
CONCLUSIONS
The differences in gender-related cognitive functions were due to differences in gender education period. The period of education is considered to have a great influence on cognitive function in relation to the economic level, occupation, and social activity.

Keyword

Cognitive function; Elderly; Gender; Korea
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