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Self-Reported Cognitive Impairment Across Racial/Ethnic Groups in the United States, National Health Interview Survey, 1997–2015
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    29324216
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5772384
  • Description:
    Introduction

    The primary objectives of this study were 1) to examine trends of self-reported cognitive impairment among 5 major racial/ethnic groups during 1997–2015 in the United States and 2) to examine differences in the trends across these groups.

    Methods

    Data were from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The sample consisted of 155,682 people aged 60 or older. Respondents were asked to report whether any family member was “limited in any way because of difficulty remembering or because of experiencing periods of confusion.” Race/ethnicity categories were non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, Native American, Hispanic, and Asian. We applied hierarchical age–period–cohort cross-classified random-effects models for the trend analysis. All analyses accounted for the complex survey design of NHIS.

    Results

    The overall rate of self-reported cognitive impairment increased from 5.7% in 1997 to 6.7% in 2015 (P for trend <.001). Among non-Hispanic white respondents, the rate increased from 5.2% in 1997 to 6.1% in 2015 (slope = 0.14, P for trend <.001). We observed no significant trend in rate of cognitive impairment in other groups. After we controlled for covariates, we found that Asian (B = 0.31), non-Hispanic black (B = 0.37), Hispanic (B = 0.25), and Native American (B = 0.87) respondents were more likely than non-Hispanic white respondents to report cognitive impairment (P <.001 for all).

    Conclusion

    We found an increased rate of self-reported cognitive impairment in older adults of 5 major racial/ethnic groups from 1997 through 2015 in the United States. However, the rate of self-reported cognitive impairment was low, which may suggest underreporting. There is a need to further promote awareness of the disease among individuals, family members, and health care providers.

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