skip to Main Content

Are adverse childhood experiences associated with late-life cognitive performance across racial/ethnic groups: results from the Kaiser Healthy Aging and Diverse Life Experiences study baseline

Evidence on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and late-life cognitive outcomes is inconsistent, with little research among diverse racial/ethnic groups. We investigated whether ACE exposures were associated with worse late-life cognition for all racial/ethnic groups and at different ages of exposure. Covariate-adjusted mixed-effects linear regression models estimated associations of: (1) total number of ACEs experienced, (2) earliest age when ACE occurred and (3) type of ACE with overall cognition. Kaiser Permanente Northern California members aged 65 years and older, living in Northern California. Kaiser Healthy Aging and Diverse Life Experiences study baseline participants, aged 65 years and older (n=1661; including 403 Asian-American, 338 Latino, 427 Black and 493 white participants). Most respondents (69%) reported one or more ACE, most frequently family illness (36%), domestic violence (23%) and parental divorce (22%). ACE count was not adversely associated with cognition overall (β=0.01; 95% CI -0.01 to 0.03), in any racial/ethnic group or for any age category of exposure. Pooling across all race/ethnicities, parent’s remarriage (β=-0.11; 95% CI -0.20 to -0.03), mother’s death (β=-0.18; 95% CI -0.30 to -0.07) and father’s death (β=-0.11; 95% CI -0.20 to -0.01) were associated with worse cognition. Adverse childhood exposures overall were not associated with worse cognition in older adults in a diverse sample, although three ACEs were associated with worse cognitive outcomes.

Authors: Gold, Audra L; Meza, Erika; Ackley, Sarah F; Mungas, Dan M; Whitmer, Rachel A; Mayeda, Elizabeth Rose; Miles, Sunita; Eng, Chloe W; Gilsanz, Paola; Glymour, M Maria

BMJ Open. 2021 02 05;11(2):e042125. Epub 2021-02-05.

PubMed abstract

Explore all studies and publications

Back To Top