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AlzRisk Paper Detail

Reference: Wilson, 2002b
Cohort: Chicago Health and Aging Project
Risk Factor: Cognitive Activity

Exposure Detail
Study participants were asked at baseline about the frequency with which they participated in seven cognitive leisure activities: (i) watching television, (ii) listening to the radio, (iii) reading newspapers, (iv) reading magazines, (v) reading books, (vi) playing cards, checkers, crosswords, or puzzle games, and (vii) attending museums. For each activity, the investigators scored participation as follows: "every day or about every day" (5 points), "several times a week" (4 points), "several times a month" (3 points), "several times a year" (2 points) and, "once a year or less" (1 point). On this scoring scale, 1 point corresponds to a one-step increment in participation frequency. A composite cognitive activity scale score ranging from 1 to 5 was obtained by averaging participation scores across the seven cognitive activities. In this study, the mean composite cognitive activity score was 3.30 (SD = 0.59).

"In analyses we used a previously established summary measure of frequency of participation in cognitive activity.12,13 It focuses on activities that mainly involve information processing and make minimal physical or social demands. Persons were asked about participation in seven such activities at baseline: viewing television; listening to radio; reading newspapers; reading magazines; reading books; playing games like cards, checkers, crosswords, or other puzzles; and going to a museum. Current frequency of participation in each activity was rated on a 5-point scale: 5) every day or about every day; 4) several times a week; 3) several times a month; 2) several times a year; 1) once a year or less. The ratings were averaged to yield the summary measure of cognitive activity."

Ethnicity Detail
In this analytic sample, 45% of the participants are African-American, and 55% are Caucasian.

Screening and Diagnosis Detail
Screening Method:
CERADConsortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (Morris 1989)

AD Diagnosis:
NINCDS ADRDA National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Diseases and Stroke/Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association Criteria (McKhann 1984)

"Persons sampled for ascertainment of incident AD underwent a uniform structured clinical evaluation with examiners blinded to previously collected data. The evaluation included a medical history, neurologic examination, detailed cognitive function testing, standard laboratory studies, informant interview for those with evidence of cognitive impairment, and brain MRI in those with cognitive impairment and inconclusive clinical evidence of stroke. On the basis of this evaluation, a board-certified neurologist diagnosed AD and other common conditions. The diagnosis of AD was based on the criteria of the joint working group of the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association (NINCDS-ADRDA).19"

Covariates & Analysis Detail
Analysis Type:
Logistic regression

Weighting was used in the analysis to account for the stratified random sampling design. Standard error estimates were obtained via jackknife methods.

AD Covariates:
APOE4APOE e4 genotype
FUTfollow up time
OSOccupational status
SSstratified sampling