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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

Received 18 March 2013

Accepted for publication 15 April 2013

Published 11 July 2013 Volume 2013:8 Pages 845—853

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S45382

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


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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