Purdue University Graduate School
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Multimorbidity and Cognitive Decline in Aging Adults

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posted on 2019-08-15, 20:27 authored by Carrie Lynn ShoreyCarrie Lynn Shorey
This study explored longitudinal change in executive function (EF) and episodic memory (EM) related to multimorbidity, number of chronic conditions, change in chronic conditions overtime in a nationally representative sample of young, middle-aged,and older adults. Participants were from the second (2004-2006) and third (2013-2015) waves of the Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS; N=2,532). Participants completed telephone interviews and questionnaires providing information on demographics and chronic conditions. The Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (BTACT) assessedcognitive function. The BTACT includes measures of EM (ex. word list recall) and EF (ex. digits backward, category fluency, etc.).Overall, only change in chronic conditions was associated with EF decline in the whole sample. In young adults multimorbidity and number of chronic conditions was significantly associated with both EF and EM decline, whereas only change in number of chronic conditions was significantly associated with EF decline in middle aged adults.Future research is needed to assess a broader range of chronic conditions to determine their overall burden on EF and EM over time.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Human Development and Family Studies

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Elliot Friedman

Additional Committee Member 2

Shelley Macdermid-Wadsworth

Additional Committee Member 3

Melissa Franks