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Psychol Aging. 1999 Dec;14(4):605-18.

Interrelationships among biological markers of aging, health, activity, acculturation, and cognitive performance in late adulthood.

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The Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, University of New South Wales, Randwick, Australia.


In this study a structural equation model of predictors of age differences in cognitive performance in late adulthood was developed. Biological markers of aging (vision, hearing, vibration sense, forced expiratory volume, and grip strength) were used as indicators of a latent variable called BioAge. A sample of 180 community-dwelling women aged 60 to 90 years was assessed. Results showed that BioAge explained all of the age-related variance in cognitive test performance. Physical health and physical activity had direct effects on BioAge. Measures of acculturation explained non-age-related variance in cognitive test performance. Some variables used as biomarkers also explained individual differences in measures of crystallized intelligence and perceptual speed. It is concluded that the association between biomarkers and cognition in old age is due to more than a common statistical association with age.

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