The Association Between Patterns of Social Engagement and Conversion From Mild Cognitive Impairment to Dementia: Evidence From the Health and Retirement Study

Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2022 Jan-Mar;36(1):7-14. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000486.

Abstract

Objectives: This study examined the association between patterns of social engagement and conversion from cognitive impairment, no dementia (CIND) to dementia. It also tested whether social engagement is associated with conversion independently from physical and cognitive engagements.

Method: Data from 2 waves (2010 and 2014) of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) were used. The sample consisted of 1227 people who had CIND in 2010. To identify the heterogeneity of social engagement, latent class analysis was utilized. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was utilized to investigate the association between patterns of social engagement and probability of conversion to dementia and death or dropout.

Results: The result showed that patterns of social engagement that represent higher level and more variety of social engagement were associated with lower probabilities of conversion to dementia in 4 years but not with probabilities of death or dropout. The relationship held after controlling for physical and cognitive engagements.

Discussion: Findings implied that promoting social engagement may be protective against developing dementia even for the high-risk group of people with CIND. Future studies should investigate the mechanism behind the relationship between patterns of social engagement and lower probabilities of conversion to dementia.

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / psychology
  • Dementia*
  • Humans
  • Retirement / psychology
  • Social Participation