Aims: To investigate Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test scores in a cohort aged 63-65 years from a general population in relation to the proposed cut-off score of 26 for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and to explore the impact of education.
Methods: MoCA scores were assessed in the Akershus Cardiac Examination 1950 Study, a cross-sectional cohort study of all men and women born in 1950 living in Akershus County, Norway. The participants were aged 63-65 at the time of data collection.
Results: MoCA scores were available in 3,413 participants, of which 47% had higher education (>12 years). The mean MoCA score was 25.3 (95% confidence interval [CI] 25.2-25.4), and 49% had a score below the suggested cut-off of 26 points. Those with higher education had significantly higher scores (mean 26.2, 95% CI 26.1-26.3 vs. 24.4, 95% CI 24.3-24.6, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Approximately 50% scored below the cut-off score of 26 points, suggesting that the cut-off score may have been set too high to distinguish normal cognitive function from MCI. Educational level had a significant impact on MoCA scores.
Keywords: Cognitive function; Cognitive screening test; General population; Montreal Cognitive Assessment; Population-based study.