Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Alzheimer's Reading Room: Memory And Thinking Problems Decline Among Older Americans

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A new US study suggests that brain health is improving among older Americans as demonstrated by a decline in thinking and memory problems in this group. The
researchers said improved cardiovascular care, better education, and being financially better off could be the main reasons.

The researchers found that:
  • About 40 per cent of the decrease in cognitive impairment over the decade ending in 2002 was likely due to increases in education and personal wealth.
    They found this by comparing two groups of seniors, one at the start of the decade and one at the end.

  • School attendance requirements, graduation rates in high school, enrollment rates in college or technical school, all went up in the period when the
    adults in the study were children and young adults.

  • 72 per cent of people aged over 65 living in 2003 had a high school diploma compared with 53 per cent in 1990.

  • The proportion of college-educated elderly also went up during that time, from 11 to 17 per cent.
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