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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1997;30(3): 630-642.
The Relationship between the Cognitive Impairment and Mortality in the Rural Elderly.
Byung Hwan Sun, Kyeong Soo Park, Baeg Ju Na, Yo Seop Park, Hae Sung Nam, Jun Ho Shin, Seok Joon Sohn, Jung Ae Rhee
Department of Preventive Medicine of Medical School and Research Institute of Medical Science, Chonnam National University, Korea.
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to examine the mortality risk associated with cognitive impairment among the rural elderly. The subjective of study was 558 of 'A Study on the Depression and Cognitive Impairment in the Rural Elderly' of Jung Ae Rhee and Hyang Gyun Jung's study(1993). Cognitive impairment and other social and health factors were assessed in 558 elderly rural community residents. For this study, a Korean version of the Mini-Mental State Examination(MMSEK) was used as a global indicator of cognitive functioning. And mortality risk factors for each cognitive impairment subgroup were identified by univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis. At baseline 22.6% of the sample were mildly impaired and 14.2% were severely impaired. As the age increased, the cognitive function was more impaired. Sexual difference was existed in the cognitive function level. Also the variables such as smoking habits, physical disorders had the significant relationship with cognitive function impairment. Across a 3-year observation period the mortality rate was 8.5% for the cognitively unimpaired, 11.1% for the mildly impaired, and 16.5% for the severly impaired respondents. And the survival probability was .92 for the cognitively unimpaired, .90 for the mildly impaired, and .86 for the severly impaired respondents. Compared to survival curve for the cognitively unimpaired group, each survival curve for the mildly and the severely impaired group was not significantly different. When adjustments models were not made for the effects of other health and social covariates, each hazard ratio of death of mildly and severely impaired persons was not significantly different as compared with the cognitively unimpaired. But, as MMSEK score increased, significantly hazard ratio of death decreased. Employing Cox univariate proportional hazards model, statistically other significant variables were age, monthly income, smoking habits, physical disorders. Also when adjustments were made for the effects of other health and social covariates, there was no difference in hazard ratio of death between those with severe or mild impairment and unimpaired persons. And as MMSEK score increased, significantly hazard ratio of death did not decrease. Employing Cox multivariate proportional hazards model, statistically other significant variables were age, monthly income, physical disorders. Employing Cox multivariate proportional hazards model by sex, at men and women statistically significant variable was only age. For both men and women, also cognitive impairment was not a significant risk factor. Other investigators have found that cognitive impairment is a significant predictor of mortality. But we didn't find that it is a significant predictor of mortality. Even though the conclusions of our study were not related to cognitive impairment and mortality, early detection of impaired cognition and attention to associated health problems could improve the quality of life of these older adults and perhaps extend their survival.
Key words: cognitive impairment; mortality; survival; the rural elderly; MMSEK
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