Impact of sociodemographic characteristics on cognitive performance in an elderly sicilian population

Paolo Aridon, Giovanni Savettieri, Giuseppe Salemi, Francesca Meneghini, Francesco Grigoletto, Letterio Morgante, Arturo Reggio, Raoul Di Perri, Francesco Patti

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2 Citazioni (Scopus)


Objective: To assess cognitive levels in an elderly Sicilian population and to evaluate the role of education and other sociodemographic characteristics in cognitive performance. Background: The pattern of cognitive performance in the elderly has not been investigated extensively in well-defined Italian populations. This study was conducted as part of a door-to-door survey of common neurologic disorders (the Sicilian Neuro-Epidemiologic Study project). Methods: Thirteen physicians administered an Italian version of the Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire (SPMSQ) to all subjects aged 50 years or older who, on November 1, 1987, resided in either of two Sicilian municipalities (Terrasini, Palermo province, and Riposto, Catania province; n = 3,999). Performance was scored as the number of errors on the SMPSQ. To define cognitive impairment we corrected the score for education as suggested by Pfeiffer [J Am Geriatr Soc 1975;23:433-441]. Results: The median SPMSQ score was equal to 2, and cognitive impairment was present in 4.6% of the subjects. In a bivariate analysis, age, sex, education, employment status at interview and principal lifetime occupation were all significantly associated with cognitive impairment. In a multivariate analysis, the same pattern was seen, except that principal lifetime occupation lost its significance. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that age, sex, education and employment status are the sociodemographic characteristics associated with cognitive impairment in the elderly as measured by the SPMSQ. Copyright © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)44-49
Numero di pagine6
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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