The Effect of Occupational Cognitive Complexity on the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease Mortality in the State of Georgia Público

Binger, Tavia (Spring 2018)

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The cognitive reserve hypothesis suggests that working in occupations of higher complexity may increase an individual’s resistance to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  Using death records coded via the National Occupational Mortality Surveillance (NOMS), we examined the relationship between usual lifetime occupational complexity and mortality due to AD among deaths of workers age 60 and older in the state of Georgia.  Three components of complexity (data, people, and things) were obtained for each occupation, and the sum of these was used to create a fourth overall complexity index (OCC).  Covariate-adjusted logistic regression models assessed the relationship between four OCC indices and AD mortality.  Low complexity of work with things was significantly associated with mortality due to AD in the study population.  These findings suggest that the physical and mental stimulation provided by complexity of worker functions with things may contribute to cognitive reserve, and may ultimately be a modifiable risk factor in the development of AD.


Table of Contents


INTRODUCTION                                                1


Diagnosis and Symptoms                               1


Mortality                                                           2


Risk Factors                                                      3


Cognitive Reserve Hypothesis                      4


Purpose                                                             5


METHODS                                                         6


Data Source and Study Population              6


Occupational Complexity Classification      6


Outcome Classification                                  7


Statistical Analysis                                          8


RESULTS                                                          10


DISCUSSION                                                    13


Limitations                                                      15


CONCLUSION                                                  17


REFERENCES                                                   18


TABLES AND FIGURES                                   19


APPENDIX                                                       25


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