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著者らは、1996 年から 2016 年にかけて認知機能を定期的に測定した大規模な研究に参加した 7,068 人のアメリカ人のデータを分析しました。

高齢のアメリカ人 7,068 人を対象とした研究では、健康的な老化戦略を知らせるために、さらに研究が必要であることが示唆されています。

オハイオ州立大学の研究では、7,068 人のアメリカ人高齢者のデータを分析して、認知機能の低下に寄与する要因を特定しました。 認知症は認知機能低下の 41% を占めますが、教育、人種、社会経済的条件などの他の要因も認知機能に大きな影響を与えます。 しかし、これらの要因は年齢とともに認知機能がどのように変化するかの 5.6% にすぎず、77% は原因不明のままです。 この調査結果は、認知機能低下の原因を理解し、医療戦略に情報を提供するためのさらなる研究の必要性を強調しています。

新しい分析では、さまざまな生活要因と高齢のアメリカ人の認知機能低下との間の相対的な統計的関連性が調査され、認知機能低下を軽減するために必要な知識のギャップが強調されています。 米国オハイオ州立大学の Hui Zheng らは最近、これらの調査結果をオープンアクセス ジャーナルで発表しました。 プロスワン.

何百万人もの高齢のアメリカ人が認知機能の低下を経験しています。 しかし、この減少のうち、統計的に認知症によって説明できるのは約 41% にすぎません。[{” attribute=””>Alzheimer’s disease, cerebrovascular disease, and Lewy body disease. Prior research has identified many other factors that may also contribute to cognitive decline, from genetics to early life nutrition, but their relative impacts remain unclear.

To shed new light, Zheng and colleagues analyzed data from 7,068 American adults born between 1931 and 1941 who were part of a larger study—the Health and Retirement Study—that regularly measured their cognitive function from 1996 to 2016. The study also collected extensive information on personal factors that could contribute to cognitive decline, such as socioeconomic factors, physical health measures, and behaviors including exercise and smoking.

Together, the many factors considered in the study statistically accounted for 38 percent of the variation between participants in their level of cognitive function at age 54. Among those factors, personal education, race, household wealth and income, occupation, level of depression, and parental education were the biggest statistical contributors to that population-level variation, with early life conditions and adult behaviors and diseases contributing less.

However, all of the considered factors accounted for only 5.6 percent of the variation in how participants’ cognitive function changed with age.

Unlike many prior studies, this study also distinguished between age-related cognitive decline and cognitive decline that is unrelated to getting older. Age accounted for 23 percent of the variation in how cognitive function changed from age 54 to 85, but the remaining 77 percent could not be statistically accounted for by the many factors considered.

These findings suggest that more research is needed to identify the major factors contributing to rate of cognitive decline, which could help inform medical treatments, policies, and equity-based strategies to slow decline.

Hui Zheng adds: “Adulthood socioeconomic conditions have a predominant role in shaping the level of cognitive functioning. Future research is urgently needed to discover the main determinants of the slope of decline to slow down the progression of cognitive impairment and dementia.”

Kathleen Cagney adds: “Understanding cognitive health, and cognitive decline, is paramount.  We must take the long view, with attention to the timing and nature of life experiences, if we are to gain fundamental insights that can inform care and treatment.”

Reference: “Predictors of cognitive functioning trajectories among older Americans: A new investigation covering 20 years of age- and non-age-related cognitive change” by Hui Zheng, Kathleen Cagney and Yoonyoung Choi, 8 February 2023, PLOS ONE.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0281139

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