Cohorts based on decade of death: No evidence for secular trends favoring later cohorts in cognitive aging and terminal decline in the AHEAD study

Gizem Hülür, Frank Infurna, Nilam Ram, Denis Gerstorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies of birth-year cohorts examined over the same age range often report secular trends favoring later-born cohorts, who are cognitively fitter and show less steep cognitive declines than earlier-born cohorts. However, there is initial evidence that those advantages of later-born cohorts do not carry into the last years of life, suggesting that pervasive mortality-related processes minimize differences that were apparent earlier in life. Elaborating this work from an alternative perspective on cohort differences, we compared rates of cognitive aging and terminal decline in episodic memory between cohorts based on the year participants had died, earlier (between 1993 and 1999) or later in historical time (between 2000 and 2010). Specifically, we compared trajectories of cognitive decline in 2 death-year cohorts of participants in the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old study that were matched on age at death and education and controlled for a variety of additional covariates. Results revealed little evidence of secular trends favoring later cohorts. To the contrary, the cohort that died in the 2000s showed a less favorable trajectory of age-related memory decline than the cohort that died in the 1990s. In examinations of change in relation to time to death, the cohort dying in the 2000s experienced even steeper terminal declines than the cohort dying in the 1990s. We suggest that secular increases in "manufacturing" survival may exacerbate age- and mortality-related cognitive declines among the oldest old.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-127
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology and Aging
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Episodic Memory
Mortality
Parturition
Education
Health
Cognitive Dysfunction
Cognitive Aging

Keywords

  • Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD)
  • Cognitive aging
  • Cohort differences
  • Episodic memory
  • Terminal decline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Cohorts based on decade of death : No evidence for secular trends favoring later cohorts in cognitive aging and terminal decline in the AHEAD study. / Hülür, Gizem; Infurna, Frank; Ram, Nilam; Gerstorf, Denis.

In: Psychology and Aging, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2013, p. 115-127.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{83e1154ec11f425b938dd4ce831aa5fa,
title = "Cohorts based on decade of death: No evidence for secular trends favoring later cohorts in cognitive aging and terminal decline in the AHEAD study",
abstract = "Studies of birth-year cohorts examined over the same age range often report secular trends favoring later-born cohorts, who are cognitively fitter and show less steep cognitive declines than earlier-born cohorts. However, there is initial evidence that those advantages of later-born cohorts do not carry into the last years of life, suggesting that pervasive mortality-related processes minimize differences that were apparent earlier in life. Elaborating this work from an alternative perspective on cohort differences, we compared rates of cognitive aging and terminal decline in episodic memory between cohorts based on the year participants had died, earlier (between 1993 and 1999) or later in historical time (between 2000 and 2010). Specifically, we compared trajectories of cognitive decline in 2 death-year cohorts of participants in the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old study that were matched on age at death and education and controlled for a variety of additional covariates. Results revealed little evidence of secular trends favoring later cohorts. To the contrary, the cohort that died in the 2000s showed a less favorable trajectory of age-related memory decline than the cohort that died in the 1990s. In examinations of change in relation to time to death, the cohort dying in the 2000s experienced even steeper terminal declines than the cohort dying in the 1990s. We suggest that secular increases in {"}manufacturing{"} survival may exacerbate age- and mortality-related cognitive declines among the oldest old.",
keywords = "Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD), Cognitive aging, Cohort differences, Episodic memory, Terminal decline",
author = "Gizem H{\"u}l{\"u}r and Frank Infurna and Nilam Ram and Denis Gerstorf",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1037/a0029965",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "28",
pages = "115--127",
journal = "Psychology and Aging",
issn = "0882-7974",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cohorts based on decade of death

T2 - No evidence for secular trends favoring later cohorts in cognitive aging and terminal decline in the AHEAD study

AU - Hülür, Gizem

AU - Infurna, Frank

AU - Ram, Nilam

AU - Gerstorf, Denis

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - Studies of birth-year cohorts examined over the same age range often report secular trends favoring later-born cohorts, who are cognitively fitter and show less steep cognitive declines than earlier-born cohorts. However, there is initial evidence that those advantages of later-born cohorts do not carry into the last years of life, suggesting that pervasive mortality-related processes minimize differences that were apparent earlier in life. Elaborating this work from an alternative perspective on cohort differences, we compared rates of cognitive aging and terminal decline in episodic memory between cohorts based on the year participants had died, earlier (between 1993 and 1999) or later in historical time (between 2000 and 2010). Specifically, we compared trajectories of cognitive decline in 2 death-year cohorts of participants in the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old study that were matched on age at death and education and controlled for a variety of additional covariates. Results revealed little evidence of secular trends favoring later cohorts. To the contrary, the cohort that died in the 2000s showed a less favorable trajectory of age-related memory decline than the cohort that died in the 1990s. In examinations of change in relation to time to death, the cohort dying in the 2000s experienced even steeper terminal declines than the cohort dying in the 1990s. We suggest that secular increases in "manufacturing" survival may exacerbate age- and mortality-related cognitive declines among the oldest old.

AB - Studies of birth-year cohorts examined over the same age range often report secular trends favoring later-born cohorts, who are cognitively fitter and show less steep cognitive declines than earlier-born cohorts. However, there is initial evidence that those advantages of later-born cohorts do not carry into the last years of life, suggesting that pervasive mortality-related processes minimize differences that were apparent earlier in life. Elaborating this work from an alternative perspective on cohort differences, we compared rates of cognitive aging and terminal decline in episodic memory between cohorts based on the year participants had died, earlier (between 1993 and 1999) or later in historical time (between 2000 and 2010). Specifically, we compared trajectories of cognitive decline in 2 death-year cohorts of participants in the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old study that were matched on age at death and education and controlled for a variety of additional covariates. Results revealed little evidence of secular trends favoring later cohorts. To the contrary, the cohort that died in the 2000s showed a less favorable trajectory of age-related memory decline than the cohort that died in the 1990s. In examinations of change in relation to time to death, the cohort dying in the 2000s experienced even steeper terminal declines than the cohort dying in the 1990s. We suggest that secular increases in "manufacturing" survival may exacerbate age- and mortality-related cognitive declines among the oldest old.

KW - Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD)

KW - Cognitive aging

KW - Cohort differences

KW - Episodic memory

KW - Terminal decline

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84881252189&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84881252189&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/a0029965

DO - 10.1037/a0029965

M3 - Article

C2 - 23046001

AN - SCOPUS:84881252189

VL - 28

SP - 115

EP - 127

JO - Psychology and Aging

JF - Psychology and Aging

SN - 0882-7974

IS - 1

ER -