The Association Between Severity of Non-Cognitive Disability and Self-Reported Worsening Memory




Teigen, Kari J.
Cannell, Brad J.
Bouldin, Erin
Akhtar, Wajiha
Andresen, Elena


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Objectives: To estimate the proportion of Floridians with long-term, non-cognitive disability using a population-representative sample of adults aged 18 and older. Secondarily we estimate the association between long-term, non-cognitive disability and self-reported worsening memory, and the association between severity of non-cognitive disability and self-reported worsening memory. Methods: Using the 2009 Florida Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) we measured the relationship between non-cognitive disability and worsening memory using multivariable logistic regression analysis weighted to account for the complex sampling design of the BRFSS. We also estimated the adjusted odds ratio association between worsening memory and disability severity, classified according to the types of assistance needed. Results: Among adults with no disability during or prior to the last year, only 6% reported worsening memory. These percentages increased to 15%, 26%, and 38% as severity of disability related limitations increased. In an adjusted logistic regression model odds of worsening memory increased significantly with severity of disability related limitations. Discussion: These results highlight the association between non-cognitive disability and subsequent increased odds of worsening memory, independent of several other known risk factors, and that there is a dose-response association with disability related limitations.