New norms for a new generation: cognitive performance in the framingham offspring cohort

Exp Aging Res. Oct-Dec 2004;30(4):333-58. doi: 10.1080/03610730490484380.


A previous publication presented normative data on neuropsychological tests stratified by age, gender, and education based on the Original Cohort of the Framingham Heart Study. Many contemporary investigations include subject samples with higher levels of education, a factor known to affect cognitive performance. Secular change in education prompted the reexamination of norms in the children of the Original Cohort. The study population consisted of 853 men and 988 women from the Offspring Study, free of clinical neurological disease, who underwent a neuropsychological examination, which included tests given to their parents in 1974 to 1976 as well as additional newer tests to provide a more comprehensive battery. The Offspring population overall was more evenly distributed by gender and better educated. Their performance on cognitive tests was superior to that of the Original Cohort. Multivariable analyses revealed that more years of education explained only a part of the cohort differences. These findings suggest that continued surveillance of each generation is necessary to document the impact that unique social and economic variables have on cognitive function. Here, the authors provide updated normative data.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult Children
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Cognition*
  • Cohort Effect
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests / standards*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors