Neighborhood Influences on Late Life Cognition in the ACTIVE Study

J Aging Res. 2012;2012:435826. doi: 10.1155/2012/435826. Epub 2012 Aug 26.


Low neighborhood-level socioeconomic status has been associated with poorer health, reduced physical activity, increased psychological stress, and less neighborhood-based social support. These outcomes are correlates of late life cognition, but few studies have specifically investigated the neighborhood as a unique source of explanatory variance in cognitive aging. This study supplemented baseline cognitive data from the ACTIVE (Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly) study with neighborhood-level data to investigate (1) whether neighborhood socioeconomic position (SEP) predicts cognitive level, and if so, whether it differentially predicts performance in general and specific domains of cognition and (2) whether neighborhood SEP predicts differences in response to short-term cognitive intervention for memory, reasoning, or processing speed. Neighborhood SEP positively predicted vocabulary, but did not predict other general or specific measures of cognitive level, and did not predict individual differences in response to cognitive intervention.