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Association of Social Support and Cognitive Aging Modified by Sex and Relationship Type: A Prospective Investigation in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.


ABSTRACT: We examined whether between-persons differences and within-person changes in levels of social support were associated with age-related cognitive decline and whether these associations varied by sex and by relationship type. Executive function and memory scores over 8 years (2002-2010) were analyzed by mixture models among 10,241 adults aged ?50 years in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Between-persons differences and within-person changes in positive social support and negative social support were independently associated with cognitive decline in different ways according to sex and relationship type. Among men, higher-than-average positive social support from a spouse/partner was associated with slower cognitive decline (for executive function, ?person-mean×time-in-study = 0.005, 95% CI: 0.001, 0.010; for memory, ?person-mean×time-in-study = 0.006, 95% CI: 0.000, 0.012); whereas high negative social support from all relationship types was associated with accelerated decline in executive function (for all relationships combined, ?person-mean×time-in-study = -0.005, 95% CI: -0.008, -0.002). For women, higher-than-average positive social support from children (? = 0.037, 95% CI: 0.010, 0.064) and friends (? = 0.115, 95% CI: 0.081, 0.150)-but not from a spouse/partner (? = -0.034, 95% CI: -0.059, -0.009) or extended family (? = -0.035, 95% CI: -0.064, -0.006)-was associated with higher executive function. Associations between social support and age-related cognitive decline vary across different relationship types for men and women.

SUBMITTER: Liao J 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5860624 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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