Mental Work Demands and Late-Life Cognitive Impairment: Results From the Shanghai Aging Study

Xiaoniu Liang, Zhao Chen, Xinqi Dong, Qianhua Zhao, Qihao Guo, Li Zheng, Wei Deng, Jianfeng Luo, Ding Ding

Publication Date: 04/16/2018

Objective: The aim of this study is to explore the association between mental work demands (MWDs) and late-life cognition among Chinese older adults.

Method: Data were drawn from the baseline of the Shanghai Aging Study.

Results: Among 3,546 participants, the mean MWDs index of participants with dementia, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and cognitive normal were 2.8 (SD = 0.5), 2.8 (SD = 0.5), and 2.9 (SD = 0.4), respectively. Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores in group with low MWDs level decreased more dramatically by increasing age than that in groups with middle and high MWDs level (p <.001). In a subgroup of participants with education ≥6 years, we found a positive correlation between MWDs index and MMSE score after adjusting for gender, age, body mass index, income, living alone, smoking, drinking, anxiety, depression, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and APOE-ε4 (apolipoprotein), by generalized linear model analysis (p <.001). Discussion: Our results suggest that long-time mental work stimulation during adulthood would have potential benefits to late-life cognition.