About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Poverty Affects Cognitive Function and May Contribute to Premature Aging

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on September 27, 2016 at 3:59 PM
Font : A-A+

 Poverty Affects Cognitive Function and May Contribute to Premature Aging

Rising income inequality in the United States means that four out of five Americans will live near poverty at least once in their lives, suggested a recent Associated Press survey.

Poverty and perceived hardship over decades among relatively young people in the U.S. are strongly associated with worse cognitive function and may be important contributors to premature aging among disadvantaged populations, report investigators in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Advertisement


Previous research has shown that exposure to poor socioeconomic conditions during childhood, adulthood, or cumulatively, is associated with cognitive deficits. However, most of these studies involved older adults and so there is little data on whether economic adversity influences cognitive health much earlier in a person's life.

"Income is dynamic and individuals are likely to experience income changes and mobility especially between young adulthood and midlife," explained lead investigator Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, of the Division of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami. "Monitoring changes in income and financial difficulty over an extended period of time and how these influence cognitive health is of great public health interest."
Advertisement

Dr. Zeki Al Hazzouri and her colleagues examined the effects of sustained poverty and perceived financial difficulty on cognitive function in midlife using income data for about 3,400 adults who took part in the ongoing Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) prospective cohort study. The CARDIA study included black and white males and females 18 to 30 years of age at the start of the study in 1985-86.

Income data were collected from study participants six times between 1985 and 2010. Sustained poverty was defined as the percentage of time the participants' household income was less than 200% of the federal poverty level. Participants were divided into four groups: never in poverty; less than 1/3 of the time; from 1/3 to nearly 100% of the time; or always in poverty. The annual income cut-offs for 200% of the federal poverty level for a four-person household were $26,718 in 1990, $28,670 in 1992, $31,138 in 1995, $35,206 in 2000, $39,942 in 2005, and $44,630 in 2010.

In 2010, at a mean age of 50 years, participants underwent three tests that are widely used and considered reliable to detect cognitive aging. The Rey Auditory-Verbal Learning Test measures verbal memory and assesses the ability to memorize and retrieve words. The Digit Symbol Substitution Test is a subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and measures performance on speed domains. The interference score on the Stroop test (executive skills) measures the additional amount of processing needed to respond to one stimulus while suppressing another.

The study found strong and graded associations between greater exposure to economic hardship and worse cognitive function, processing speed in particular, leading investigators to conclude that poverty and perceived hardship may be important contributors to cognitive aging. Individuals with all-time poverty performed significantly worse than individuals never in poverty. Similar results were observed in persons with perceived financial difficulty.

"Maintaining cognitive abilities is a key component of health," commented Dr. Zeki Al Hazzouri. "Findings among this relatively young cohort place economic hardship as being on the pathway to cognitive aging and as an important contributor to premature aging among economically disadvantaged populations. It is important to monitor how trends in income and other social and economic parameters influence health outcomes."

Source: Newswise
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
World Heart Day in 2022- Use Heart for Every Heart
Anemia among Indian Women and Children Remains a Cause of Concern- National Family Health Survey-5
H1N1 Influenza Prevention in Children: What Parents Need to Know
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Stress Relief Through Alternative Medicine Ageing and Sleep Progeria Telomere Shortening And Ageing Marasmus / Protein-Energy Malnutrition 

Most Popular on Medindia

Iron Intake Calculator Drug - Food Interactions The Essence of Yoga Find a Doctor A-Z Drug Brands in India Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Vent Forte (Theophylline) Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator Color Blindness Calculator
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
×

Poverty Affects Cognitive Function and May Contribute to Premature Aging Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests