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Supplemental Materials: Duration of poverty and subsequent cognitive function and decline among older adults in China, 2005-2018

Citation

Yu, Xuexin; Zhang, Wei; Kobayashi, Lindsay (2021), Supplemental Materials: Duration of poverty and subsequent cognitive function and decline among older adults in China, 2005-2018, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vhhmgqnsk

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the relationship between late-life duration of poverty exposure and cognitive function and decline among older adults in China.

Methods

Data were from 3,209 participants aged ≥64 in the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS). Duration of poverty, defined according to urban and rural regional standards from the China Statistical Yearbook, was assessed from 2005-2011 (never in poverty; 1/3 of the period in poverty; ≥2/3 of the period in poverty). Cognitive function was measured by the Chinese Mini Mental State Exam (CMMSE) from 2011 to 2018. We used attrition-weighted, multivariable mixed-effects Tobit regression to examine the association of duration of poverty with cognitive performance and rate of decline.

Results

A total of 1,162 individuals (36.21%) were never in poverty over the period from 2005 to 2011, 1,172 (36.52%) were in poverty 1/3 of the period, and 875 (27.27%) were in poverty ≥2/3 of the period. A longer poverty duration was associated with lower subsequent CMMSE scores with a dose-response relationship (1/3 vs. never in poverty: β = -0.98; 95% CI: -1.61 to -0.35; ≥2/3 vs. never in poverty: β = -1.55; 95% CI: -2.29 to -0.81). However, a longer duration of poverty was associated with a slower rate of CMMSE score decline over time.

Conclusion

These findings provide valuable evidence on the role of cumulative late-life poverty in relation to cognitive health among older adults in a rapidly urbanizing and aging middle-income country. Our findings may support a compensation hypothesis for cognitive reserve in this setting.