Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 3 pp 4552—4563
Cognitive function and its influencing factors in empty-nest elderly and non-empty-nest elderly adults in China
- 1 Department of Information Center, Xiangyang No.1 People’s Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Xiangyang 441000, Hubei, China
- 2 Qinghai Provincial Center for Diseases Prevention and Control, Xining 810010, Qinghai, China
- 3 Department of Education, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong First Medical University, Jinan 250021, Shandong, China
- 4 Office of Medical Quality Control, Qilu Hospital, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan 250012, Shandong, China
- 5 Department of Health Psychology, School of Nursing, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan 250012, Shandong, China
Received: June 25, 2020 Accepted: November 8, 2020 Published: January 20, 2021https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.202416
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2021 Yang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Introduction: We investigated cognitive function and its influencing factors in empty-nest and non-empty-nest elderly adults in China.
Results: Cognitive function was better in empty-nest elderly living as a couple but worse in those living alone than in non-empty-nest elderly. Older age, rural habitation, poorer instrumental activities of daily living, and depression were risk factors for cognitive decline, while higher education was protective. Women had poorer cognitive function than men among non-empty-nest elderly and empty-nest elderly living as a couple. Among non-empty-nest elderly, those who were divorced/widowed/never married, underweight or economically active exhibited poorer cognitive function. Having two or more chronic diseases and being overweight were associated with better cognitive function among empty-nest elderly living as a couple.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that cognitive function is poorest in empty-nest elderly living alone and best in empty-nest elderly living as a couple. The factors influencing cognitive function differed according to empty-nest status, which should be considered in interventions.
Methods: 5549 elderly from the 2015 China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study were included in this study. Cognitive function was evaluated using the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status, episodic memory tests and visuospatial ability assessments. Factors influencing cognitive function were determined via multiple linear regression analysis.
BADL: basic activities of daily living; IADL: instrumental activities of daily living; BMI: body mass index; CHARLS: China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study; SD: standard deviation; SE: standard error.