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Cognitive function, social integration and mortality in a U.S. national cohort study of older adults


Obisesan, Thomas O, Gillum, RF


BMC Geriatrics, Volume: 9, Pages.: 33-33

Year of Publication



Background: Prior research suggests an interaction between social networks and Alzheimer’s disease pathology and cognitive function, all predictors of survival in the elderly. We test the hypotheses that both social integration and cognitive function are independently associated with subsequent mortality and there is an interaction between social integration and cognitive function as related to mortality in a national cohort of older persons.; Methods: Data were analyzed from a longitudinal follow-up study of 5,908 American men and women aged 60 years and over examined in 1988-1994 followed an average 8.5 yr. Measurements at baseline included self-reported social integration, socio-demographics, health, body mass index, C-reactive protein and a short index of cognitive function (SICF).; Results: Death during follow-up occurred in 2,431. In bivariate analyses indicators of greater social integration were associated with higher cognitive function. Among persons with SICF score of 17, 22% died compared to 54% of those with SICF score of 0-11 (p < 0.0001). After adjusting for confounding by baseline socio-demographics and health status, the hazards ratio (HR) (95% confidence limits) for low SICF score was 1.43 (1.13-1.80, p < 0.001). After controlling for health behaviors, blood pressure and body mass, C-reactive protein and social integration, the HR was 1.36 (1.06-1.76, p = 0.02). Further low compared to high social integration was also independently associated with increased risk of mortality: HR 1.24 (1.02-1.52, p = 0.02).; Conclusion: In a cohort of older Americans, analyses demonstrated a higher risk of death independent of confounders among those with low cognitive function and low social integration with no significant interaction between them.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Obisesan_2009, doi = {10.1186/1471-2318-9-33}, url = {}, year = 2009, month = {jul}, publisher = {Springer Nature}, volume = {9}, number = {1}, author = {Thomas O Obisesan and RF Gillum}, title = {Cognitive function, social integration and mortality in a U.S. national cohort study of older adults}, journal = {{BMC} Geriatr} }


aged, aged, 80 and over, cognition, cognition disorders, cohort studies, diagnosis, epidemiology, female, health surveys, humans, integration, interpersonal relations, longitudinal studies, male, middle aged, mortality, psychology, risk factors, social, survival rate, trends, united states

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

Types of Study

Cohort Study

Type of Outcomes

Carer Burden (instruments measuring burden)

Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Social activities (e.g. lunch clubs, cinema outings, trips to sporting events etc, peer support)