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Vol. 33, No. 3, 2009
Issue release date: October 2009
Section title: Original Paper
Free Access
Neuroepidemiology 2009;33:231–239
(DOI:10.1159/000229777)

Association between Year of Birth and Cognitive Functions in Russia and the Czech Republic: Cross-Sectional Results of the HAPIEE Study

Bobak M.b · Richards M.a · Malyutina S.c · Kubinova R.d · Peasey A.b · Pikhart H.b · Shishkin S.c · Nikitin Y.c · Marmot M.b
aMRC Unit for Lifelong Health, bDepartment of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK; cInstitute of Internal Medicine, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia; dNational Institute of Public Health, Prague, Czech Republic
email Corresponding Author

Abstract

Objectives: To assess differences in cognitive functions by year of birth in Russia and the Czech Republic. Methods: A cross-sectional study in the general population of Novosibirsk (Russia) and 6 cities of the Czech Republic recruited random samples of men and women (3,874 Russians, 3,626 Czechs) aged 45–69 years in 2002 (i.e. born in 1933–1957). Word recall, verbal fluency (number of animals named in 1 min) and letter search were assessed in a clinic. Results: Except letter search in men, we found similar levels of cognitive functioning in Russians and Czechs in the youngest subjects and a steeper association of functioning with year of birth in Russia than in the Czech Republic. For example, the difference in the mean word recall, associated with 10 years difference in year of birth, was 0.9 (SE 0.06) words in Russian men, compared to 0.4 (0.06) words in Czech men; in women, these figures were 0.8 (0.05) and 0.3 (0.05), respectively. For all outcomes, except letter search in men, the interactions between year of birth and country were statistically highly significant, and the differences in the year of birth effects between countries were largely unexplained by socioeconomic indicators and risk factors. Conclusion: The slope of association between lower cognitive functioning and earlier year of birth is much steeper in Russia than in the Czech Republic. Given that poor cognitive functioning is a risk factor for dementia, long-term follow-up of this cohort and other studies into population rates of cognitive impairment in Russia should be a priority.

© 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel


  

Key Words

  • Cognitive functions
  • Ageing
  • Birth cohort effect
  • Eastern Europe

References

  1. Notzon FC, Komarov YM, Ermakov SP, Sempos CT, Marks JS, Sempos EV: Causes of declining life expectancy in Russia. JAMA 1998;279:793–800.
  2. Leon DA, Chenet L, Shkolnikov V, Zakharov S, Shapiro J, Rakhmanova G, Vassin S, McKee M: Huge variation in Russian mortality rates 1984–94: artefact, alcohol, or what? Lancet 1997;350:383–388.
  3. Shkolnikov VM, Mesle F, Vallin J: Recent trends in life expectancy and causes of death in Russia, 1970–1993; in Bobadilla JL, Costello CA, Mitchell F (eds): Premature Death in the New Independent States. Washington, National Academy Press, 1997, pp 34–65.
  4. Andreev EM, McKee M, Shkolnikov VM: Health expectancy in the Russian Federation: a new perspective on the health divide in Europe. Bull WHO 2003;81:778–787.
  5. Bobak M, Kristenson M, Pikhart H, Marmot M: Life span and disability: a cross-sectional comparison of Russian and Swedish community based data. BMJ 2004;329:767.
  6. Chandola T, Ferrie JE, Sacker A, Marmot M: Social inequalities in self reported health in early old age: follow-up of prospective cohort study. BMJ 2007;334:990.
  7. Geronimus AT, Bound J, Keene D, Hicken M: Black-white differences in age trajectories of hypertension prevalence among adult women and men, 1999–2002. Ethn Dis 2007;17:40–48.
  8. Turrell G, Lynch JW, Kaplan GA, Everson SA, Helkala EL, Kauhanen J, Salonen JT: Socioeconomic position across the lifecourse and cognitive function in late middle age. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2002;57:S43–S51.
  9. Singh-Manoux A, Richards M, Marmot M: Socioeconomic position across the lifecourse: how does it relate to cognitive function in mid-life? Ann Epidemiol 2005;15:572–578.
  10. Bobak M, Room R, Kubinova R, Malyutina S, Pajak A, Kurilovitch S, Pikhart H, Topor-Madry R, Nikitin Y, Marmot M: Contribution of alcohol consumption and drinking patterns to rates of alcohol-related problems in urban populations in Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic: a cross-sectional study. J Epidemiol Comm Health 2004;58:238–242.
  11. Peasey A, Bobak M, Kubinova R, Malyutina S, Pajak A, Tamosiunas A, Pikhart H, Nicholson A, Marmot M: Determinants of cardiovascular disease and other non-communicable diseases in Central and Eastern Europe: rationale and design of the HAPIEE study. BMC Public Health 2006;6:255.
  12. Ware JE, Sherbourne CD: The MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). I. Conceptual framework and item selection. Med Care 1992;30:473–483.
  13. McHorney CA, Ware JE, Raczek AE: The MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36): II. Psychometric and clinical tests of validity in measuring physical and mental health constructs. Med Care 1993;31:247–263.
  14. Suhanov AV, Pilipenko PI, Korczyn AD, Hofman A, Voevoda MI, Shishkin SV, Simonova GI, Nikitin YP, Feigin VL: Risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease in Russia: a case-control study. Eur J Neurol 2006;13:990–995.
  15. Haynes M, Husan R: A century of state murder? Death and policy in twentieth-century Russia. London, Pluto Press, 2003.
  16. United Nations Children’s Fund: A decade of transition. Regional Monitoring Report No. 8. Florence, UNICEF, 2001.
  17. Webb EA, Kuh D, Peasey A, Pajak A, Malyutina S, Kubinova R, Topor-Madry R, Denisova D, Capkova N, Marmot M, Bobak M: Childhood socioeconomic circumstances and adult height and leg length in Central and Eastern Europe. J Epidemiol Community Health 2008;62:351–357.
  18. Li L, Dangour AD, Power C: Early life influences on adult leg and trunk length in the 1958 British birth cohort. Am J Hum Biol 2007;19:836–843.
  19. Geronimus AT, Hicken M, Keene D, Bound J: ‘Weathering’ and age patterns of allostatic load scores among blacks and whites in the United States. Am J Public Health 2006;96:826–833.
  20. McEwen BS: Protective and damaging effects of stress mediators. N Engl J Med 1998;338:171–179.
  21. Lee S, Kawachi I, Berkman LF, Grodstein F: Education, other socioeconomic indicators, and cognitive function. Am J Epidemiol 2003;157:712–720.
  22. Richards M, Shipley B, Fuhrer R, Wadsworth ME: Cognitive ability in childhood and cognitive decline in mid-life: longitudinal birth cohort study. BMJ 2004;328:552.
  23. Herd P, Goesling B, House JS: Socioeconomic position and health: the differential effects of education versus income on the onset versus progression of health problems. J Health Soc Behav 2007;48:223–238.
  24. Richards M, Deary IJ: A life course approach to cognitive reserve: a model for cognitive aging and development? Ann Neurol 2005;58:617–622.
  25. Bruscoli M, Lovestone S: Is MCI really just early dementia? A systematic review of conversion studies. Int Psychogeriatr 2004;16:129–140.
  26. Hatch SL, Feinstein L, Link B, Wadsworth MEJ, Richards M: The continuing benefits of education: adult education and midlife cognitive ability in the British 1946 birth cohort. J Gerontol 2007;62:S404–S414.
  27. Kramer AF, Erickson KL: Capitalizing on cortical plasticity: influence of physical activity on cognition and brain function. Trends Cogn Sci 2007;11:342–348.
  28. Gray A, Fenn P: The cost of Alzheimer’s disease in England. Alzheimers Rev 1994;4:81–84.
  29. Lowin A, Knapp M, McCrone P: Alzheimer’s disease in the UK: comparative evidence on cost of illness and volume of health services research funding. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2001;16:1143–1148.

  

Author Contacts

Martin Bobak
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London
1–19 Torrington Place
London WC1E 6BT (UK)
Tel. +44 20 3108 3021, Fax +44 20 7813 0242, E-Mail: m.bobak@ucl.ac.uk

  

Article Information

Received: January 4, 2009
Accepted: May 4, 2009
Published online: July 27, 2009
Number of Print Pages : 9
Number of Figures : 2, Number of Tables : 3, Number of References : 29

  

Publication Details

Neuroepidemiology

Vol. 33, No. 3, Year 2009 (Cover Date: October 2009)

Journal Editor: Feigin V.L. (Auckland)
ISSN: 0251-5350 (Print), eISSN: 1423-0208 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/NED


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References

  1. Notzon FC, Komarov YM, Ermakov SP, Sempos CT, Marks JS, Sempos EV: Causes of declining life expectancy in Russia. JAMA 1998;279:793–800.
  2. Leon DA, Chenet L, Shkolnikov V, Zakharov S, Shapiro J, Rakhmanova G, Vassin S, McKee M: Huge variation in Russian mortality rates 1984–94: artefact, alcohol, or what? Lancet 1997;350:383–388.
  3. Shkolnikov VM, Mesle F, Vallin J: Recent trends in life expectancy and causes of death in Russia, 1970–1993; in Bobadilla JL, Costello CA, Mitchell F (eds): Premature Death in the New Independent States. Washington, National Academy Press, 1997, pp 34–65.
  4. Andreev EM, McKee M, Shkolnikov VM: Health expectancy in the Russian Federation: a new perspective on the health divide in Europe. Bull WHO 2003;81:778–787.
  5. Bobak M, Kristenson M, Pikhart H, Marmot M: Life span and disability: a cross-sectional comparison of Russian and Swedish community based data. BMJ 2004;329:767.
  6. Chandola T, Ferrie JE, Sacker A, Marmot M: Social inequalities in self reported health in early old age: follow-up of prospective cohort study. BMJ 2007;334:990.
  7. Geronimus AT, Bound J, Keene D, Hicken M: Black-white differences in age trajectories of hypertension prevalence among adult women and men, 1999–2002. Ethn Dis 2007;17:40–48.
  8. Turrell G, Lynch JW, Kaplan GA, Everson SA, Helkala EL, Kauhanen J, Salonen JT: Socioeconomic position across the lifecourse and cognitive function in late middle age. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2002;57:S43–S51.
  9. Singh-Manoux A, Richards M, Marmot M: Socioeconomic position across the lifecourse: how does it relate to cognitive function in mid-life? Ann Epidemiol 2005;15:572–578.
  10. Bobak M, Room R, Kubinova R, Malyutina S, Pajak A, Kurilovitch S, Pikhart H, Topor-Madry R, Nikitin Y, Marmot M: Contribution of alcohol consumption and drinking patterns to rates of alcohol-related problems in urban populations in Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic: a cross-sectional study. J Epidemiol Comm Health 2004;58:238–242.
  11. Peasey A, Bobak M, Kubinova R, Malyutina S, Pajak A, Tamosiunas A, Pikhart H, Nicholson A, Marmot M: Determinants of cardiovascular disease and other non-communicable diseases in Central and Eastern Europe: rationale and design of the HAPIEE study. BMC Public Health 2006;6:255.
  12. Ware JE, Sherbourne CD: The MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). I. Conceptual framework and item selection. Med Care 1992;30:473–483.
  13. McHorney CA, Ware JE, Raczek AE: The MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36): II. Psychometric and clinical tests of validity in measuring physical and mental health constructs. Med Care 1993;31:247–263.
  14. Suhanov AV, Pilipenko PI, Korczyn AD, Hofman A, Voevoda MI, Shishkin SV, Simonova GI, Nikitin YP, Feigin VL: Risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease in Russia: a case-control study. Eur J Neurol 2006;13:990–995.
  15. Haynes M, Husan R: A century of state murder? Death and policy in twentieth-century Russia. London, Pluto Press, 2003.
  16. United Nations Children’s Fund: A decade of transition. Regional Monitoring Report No. 8. Florence, UNICEF, 2001.
  17. Webb EA, Kuh D, Peasey A, Pajak A, Malyutina S, Kubinova R, Topor-Madry R, Denisova D, Capkova N, Marmot M, Bobak M: Childhood socioeconomic circumstances and adult height and leg length in Central and Eastern Europe. J Epidemiol Community Health 2008;62:351–357.
  18. Li L, Dangour AD, Power C: Early life influences on adult leg and trunk length in the 1958 British birth cohort. Am J Hum Biol 2007;19:836–843.
  19. Geronimus AT, Hicken M, Keene D, Bound J: ‘Weathering’ and age patterns of allostatic load scores among blacks and whites in the United States. Am J Public Health 2006;96:826–833.
  20. McEwen BS: Protective and damaging effects of stress mediators. N Engl J Med 1998;338:171–179.
  21. Lee S, Kawachi I, Berkman LF, Grodstein F: Education, other socioeconomic indicators, and cognitive function. Am J Epidemiol 2003;157:712–720.
  22. Richards M, Shipley B, Fuhrer R, Wadsworth ME: Cognitive ability in childhood and cognitive decline in mid-life: longitudinal birth cohort study. BMJ 2004;328:552.
  23. Herd P, Goesling B, House JS: Socioeconomic position and health: the differential effects of education versus income on the onset versus progression of health problems. J Health Soc Behav 2007;48:223–238.
  24. Richards M, Deary IJ: A life course approach to cognitive reserve: a model for cognitive aging and development? Ann Neurol 2005;58:617–622.
  25. Bruscoli M, Lovestone S: Is MCI really just early dementia? A systematic review of conversion studies. Int Psychogeriatr 2004;16:129–140.
  26. Hatch SL, Feinstein L, Link B, Wadsworth MEJ, Richards M: The continuing benefits of education: adult education and midlife cognitive ability in the British 1946 birth cohort. J Gerontol 2007;62:S404–S414.
  27. Kramer AF, Erickson KL: Capitalizing on cortical plasticity: influence of physical activity on cognition and brain function. Trends Cogn Sci 2007;11:342–348.
  28. Gray A, Fenn P: The cost of Alzheimer’s disease in England. Alzheimers Rev 1994;4:81–84.
  29. Lowin A, Knapp M, McCrone P: Alzheimer’s disease in the UK: comparative evidence on cost of illness and volume of health services research funding. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2001;16:1143–1148.