Psychiatry Res. 2021 Feb 15;298:113807. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2021.113807. Online ahead of print.
As a biopsychosocial marker of aging, subjective age (i.e., the age individuals feel regardless of their actual age) was related to many health issues in the elderly. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether subjective age is associated with subsequent cognition and dementia risk in middle-aged and older adults. Samples were drawn from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). Participants reported their subjective ages at the baseline (2004/2005), and their cognitive functions were measured after 10 years (2014/2015). Newly diagnosed dementias were recorded between 2006/2007 to 2014/2015. Overall, 6,475 adults aged 50 years or older were included in the current analyses. The relationship between subjective age reported at baseline and cognition assessed ten years later was modeled using multiple linear regression models. Compared to participants who reported a younger subjective age, those who reported an older subjective age were more likely to have poorer cognition after ten years (β = -0.705, P = .002 for memory, β = -1.567, P = .001 for executive function). A Cox proportional hazard regression model suggested that older subjective age was an independent risk factor for incident dementia (HR = 1.737, 95% CI =1.060-2.848). Other than chronological age, subjective age could also be considered as an important predictor for the development of cognitive dysfunction.