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Associations between cognitive abilities and life satisfaction in the oldest-old. Results from the longitudinal population study Good Aging in Skåne

Authors Enkvist Å, Ekström H, Elmståhl S

Published Date July 2013 Volume 2013:8 Pages 845—853

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S45382

Received 18 March 2013, Accepted 15 April 2013, Published 11 July 2013

Åsa Enkvist, Henrik Ekström, Sölve Elmståhl

Department of Health Sciences, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden

Introduction: Studies on the associations between cognitive abilities and life satisfaction (LS) in the oldest-old are few. The aim of this study was to explore whether abilities in six different cognitive domains could predict LS in the oldest-old 3 years later.
Methods: The study population consisted of 681 individuals aged 78–98 years, drawn from the longitudinal population study “Good Aging in Skåne,” which is part of a national survey (The Swedish National Study on Aging and Care). Scores on 13 cognitive tests were related to scores on Neugartens’ LS index A (LSI-A) 3 years later. The cognitive tests were added into six different cognitive domains. A multiple regression analysis was constructed for each cognitive domain separately, with scores on the LSI-A as the dependent variable. The model was adjusted stepwise for sex, age, education, functional capacity, and depressive mood.
Results: Significant correlations were found between digit cancellation, word recall, verbal fluency (VF) A, VF animals, VF occupations, and mental rotations at baseline, as well as LSI-A at follow-up. The domains of spatial abilities (B = 0.453, P = 0.014) and processing speed (B = 0.118, P = 0.020) remained significantly associated with LSI-A 3 years later after adjustment.
Conclusion: The cognitive domains of spatial abilities and processing speed predicted LS 3 years later in the oldest-old. Clinical implications are discussed.

Keywords: oldest-old, life satisfaction, longitudinal, crystallized and fluid intelligence, cognition

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