DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2320-6012.ijrms20162325

Cognitive function and its association with level of education and work status in adults in Saudi Arabia: a cross-sectional study

Mohammed Alarabi, Abdullah Al-Turki, Mohammed Mahasin, Abdulrahman Al-Sehly, Faisal Al-Dawood, Saleh Al-Kurini, Shahid Bashir

Abstract


Background: Cognitive decline is not inevitable with age; studies have shown that it can be affected by a number of education and work related factors. We explored this association by carrying out a cross-sectional study in King Khalid University Hospital and King Abdulaziz University Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Methods: We enrolled 202 adults, whose ages ranged between 40 and 85 years. Data was collected using a validated Arabic translation of a standardized test assessing cognitive function, known as the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). Subjects were also inquired about their level of education and work status.

Results: The results showed that in our subjects of adults above the age of 40, the mean MMSE score was 23.45 (SD=4.203). Females (n=94) had lower scores than their male counterparts (n=108) (mean difference: 3.11, 95% CI 2 to 4.22; p<0.001). There was a strong negative correlation between Age and MMSE scores (r=-0.308; p<0.001). Higher levels of education were associated with higher MMSE scores (p<0.001). Having no education was associated with a major decline in scores compared to a college education (mean difference: 8.16, 95% CI 6.76 to 9.56; p<0.001). Being employed was associated with higher scores (p<0.001). This was irrespective of gender, although females were more likely to have had no education or work (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Higher levels of education and employment both seem to be associated with higher cognitive function scores in the studied demographic. Further research is required for population generalization and to establish a causal relationship.

 


Keywords


Cognitive function, Mini mental state examination, Education

Full Text:

PDF

References


National Institute on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Memory/Cognitive Health. 2013. Available at http://www.nia.nih.gov/.

Fillit HM, Butler RN, O'Connell AW, Albert MS, Birren JE, Cotman CW et al. Achieving and maintaining cognitive vitality with aging. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2002;77(7):681-96.

Kurlowicz L, Wallace M. The mini mental state examination (MMSE). Journal of Gerontological Nursing. (1999);25(5):8-9.

Williams K, Kemper S. Exploring interventions to reduce cognitive decline in aging. Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services, 2010;48(5):42.

Inzelberg R, Schechtman E, Abuful A, Masarwa M, Mazarib A, Strugatsky R, et al. Education effects on cognitive function in a healthy aged Arab population. International psychogeriatrics 2007;19(3):593-604.

Al-Rajeh S, Ogunniyi A, Awada A, Daif A, Zaidan, R. Preliminary assessment of an Arabic version of the Mini-Mental state examination. Annals of Saudi medicine. 1999;19(2):150-2.

Lou MF, Dai YT, Huang GS, Yu PJ. Identifying the most efficient items from the Mini-Mental State Examination for cognitive function assessment in older Taiwanese patients. J Clin Nurs. 2007;16(3):502-8.

Furuäng L, Wollmer P, Siennicki-Lantz A, Elmståhl S. Cardiac ventricular dimensions predict cognitive decline and cerebral blood flow abnormalities in aging men. BMC Geriatr. 2013;13:45.

Lavner Y, Rabinowitz I. Increasing stimulus duration improves attention and memory performance in elderly with cognitive impairment. SAGE Open Med. 2015;3:2050312115621566.

Farag I, Howard K, O'Rourke S, Ferreira ML, Lord SR, Close JC, et al. Health and social support services in older adults recently discharged from hospital: service utilisation and costs and exploration of the impact of a home-exercise intervention. BMC Geriatr. 2016;16(1):82.

Folstein MF, Folstein SE, McHugh PR. “Mini-mental state”: a practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician.Journal of psychiatric research. 1975;12(3):189-98.

IBM Corp. Released 2012. IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 21.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.