Kenneth M. Langa photo

Objective and Perceived Neighborhoods Characteristics and Cognitive Decline

a MiCDA Research Project Description

Investigators: Kenneth M. Langa

Funding (subcontract): National Institute on Aging, 2012-2015 (R 01 AG 043960)

This project will develop a database of objective neighborhood characteristics for neighborhoods across the nation, link these data with longitudinal data on cognitive function assessed in a nationally representative sample of older adults (the Health and Retirement Study), and examine the relationship between both objective and perceived psychosocial neighborhood characteristics and cognitive functioning over time. This study will also examine a host of potential mediators including biomarkers of stress, and vascular, behavioral, and psychosocial factors that may inform the mechanistic pathways by which neighborhoods influence cognitive outcomes. It will also identify subgroups most vulnerable to neighborhood effects based on socioeconomic, demographic and genetic characteristics. Propensity score analysis and omitted variable analysis will address the potential for selection into neighborhoods.

At the University of Michigan Dr. Langa will provide advice and guidance to the RAND-based research team on the use of the HRS, the measurement of cognitive function in the HRS, HRS geocode information, and HRS-Medicare linked data. Dr. Langa will also participate in the interpretation of study results, and the writing of abstracts and manuscripts related to the project.

Research Signature Theme:

Health and well-being in later life: Dementia and Cognitive Impairment