Correlates of Subjective Cognitive Decline in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Older Adults

J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;64(1):91-102. doi: 10.3233/JAD-171061.


Background: Little is known about subjective cognitive decline (SCD) in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults.

Objectives: To examine SCD and its association with dementia risk factors, other physical and psychosocial health factors in LGBT older adults.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of SCD was conducted with LGBT older adults, aged 50 and older (n = 210). SCD was categorized based on endorsement of memory problems and one other cognitive domain. Hierarchical logistic regression examined the associations between demographic factors, dementia risk factors, other health and psychosocial factors, and SCD.

Results: Nearly 25% of LGBT older adults were classified as having SCD. LGBT older adults who were people of color (OR = 2.5; 95% CI = 1.1- 7.8), depressed (OR = 2.9; 95% CI = 1.3- 6.9), or reported having functional impairment (OR = 2.6; 95% CI = 1.1- 6.5) were significantly more likely to be classified as having SCD (Nagelkerke pseudo R2 = 0.27).

Conclusion: Depression and functional impairment should be considered when screening LGBT older adults for cognitive impairment and dementia. Future research on the cognitive impairment and dementia risk in LGBT older adults is needed.

Keywords: Dementia; depression; risk factors; sexual minorities; subjective cognitive decline; subjective memory impairment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Bisexuality / psychology*
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Homosexuality / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Transgender Persons / psychology*