Life-course socioeconomic position and incidence of dementia and cognitive impairment without dementia in older Mexican Americans: Results from the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging

Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, Mary N. Haan, John D. Kalbfleisch, Sandro Galea, Lynda D. Lisabeth, Allison E. Aiello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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There have been few investigations of the link between changes in life-course socioeconomic position (SEP) and cognitive decline or incidence of dementia. The authors examined the impact of changes in life-course SEP on incidence of dementia and cognitive impairment but not dementia (CIND) over a decade of follow-up. Participants of Mexican origin (n = 1,789) were members of the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging cohort. Incidence of dementia/CIND was ascertained by using standard diagnostic criteria. SEP indicators at 3 life stages (childhood, adulthood, and midlife) were used to derive a measure of cumulative SEP (range, 0 to 8) and SEP mobility. Nearly 24% of the sample maintained a low SEP throughout life. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals were computed from Cox proportional hazards regression models. In fully adjusted models, participants with a continuously high SEP had lower hazard ratios for dementia/CIND compared with those with a continuously low SEP at all 3 life stages (hazard ratio = 0.49, 95% confidence interval: 0.24, 0.98; P = 0.04). In age-adjusted models, participants experienced a 16% greater hazard of dementia/CIND with every 1-unit increase in cumulative SEP disadvantage across the life course (hazard ratio = 1.16, 95% confidence interval: 1.01, 1.33; P = 0.04). Early exposures to social disadvantage may increase the risk of late-life dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1148-1158
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2011



  • Mexican Americans
  • aged
  • dementia
  • longitudinal studies
  • social class
  • socioeconomic factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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