Birth cohort differences in cognitive performance in 75- and 80-year-olds : a comparison of two cohorts over 28 years
Munukka, M., Koivunen, K., von Bonsdorff, M. B., Sipilä, S., Portegijs, E., Ruoppila, I., & Rantanen, T. (2021). Birth cohort differences in cognitive performance in 75- and 80-year-olds : a comparison of two cohorts over 28 years. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 33(1), 57-65. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40520-020-01702-0
Published inAging Clinical and Experimental Research
© The Author(s) 2020
Objective To evaluate cohort differences in cognitive performance in older men and women born and assessed 28 years apart. Methods Data in this study were drawn from two age-homogeneous cohorts measured in the same laboratory using the same standardized cognitive performance tests. Participants in the first cohort were born in 1910 and 1914 and assessed in 1989–1990 (Evergreen project, n = 500). Participants in the second cohort were born in 1938 or 1939 and 1942 or 1943 and assessed in 2017–2018 (Evergreen II, n = 724). Participants in both cohorts were assessed at age 75 and 80 years and were recruited from the population register. Cognitive performance was measured using the Digit Span test from the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS), Digit Symbol test from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and phonemic Verbal Fluency test from the Schaie-Thurstone Adult Mental Abilities Test. Reaction time assessing motor and mental responses was measured with a simple finger movement task, followed by a complex finger movement task. T-tests were used to study cohort differences and linear regression models to study possible factors underlying differences. Results We found statistically significant cohort differences in all the cognitive performance tests, except for the digit span test and simple movement task in men, the later-born cohort performing better in all the measured outcomes. Conclusions The results of this study provide strong evidence that cognitive performance is better in more recent cohorts of older people compared to their counterparts measured 28 years earlier. ...
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- Liikuntatieteiden tiedekunta 
Related funder(s)European Commission; Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Academy Project, AoF
The content of the publication reflects only the author’s view. The funder is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Additional information about fundingOpen access funding was provided by University of Jyväskylä (JYU). The AGNES (Evergreen II) study was financially supported by an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (Grant 693045 to T. Rantanen) and the Academy of Finland (Grant 310526 to T. Rantanen). The Evergreen I project has been supported by the Academy of Finland, Finnish Social Insurance Institution, Finnish Ministry of Education, Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, City of Jyväskylä, and the Association of Finnish Lion Clubs and the Scandinavian Red Feather Project. ...
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