Publication date: March–April 2019
Source: Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Volume 81
Author(s): Hanzhang Xu, Allison A. Vorderstrasse, Matthew E. Dupre, Eleanor S. McConnell, Truls Østbye, Bei Wu
This study aims to examine gender differences in the association between migration and cognitive function among adults in China and India.
Data from the World Health Organization Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) study were used that included adults aged 50 + from China (N = 12,937) and India (N = 6244). Migration status included: urban residents, rural residents, urban-to-urban, rural-to-urban, rural-to-rural, and urban-to-rural migrants. Cognitive function was assessed by immediate and delayed recall tests, digit span tests, and verbal fluency test. Ordinary least square regression models were used to adjust for sociodemographic characteristics, psychosocial factors, health behaviors, and physical health status.
Controlling for multiple covariates, significant differences in cognitive function were found between men and women, and across migration groups. A consistent female disadvantage was found in China and India for cognitive function. Women who were rural residents or rural-to-rural migrants had the poorest cognitive function in both the Chinese and the Indian samples. Among males in China, rural residents had poorer cognitive function than urban residents, while urban-to-urban migrants had highest cognition scores; however, for male counterparts in India, rural-to-rural migrants had the poorest cognitive function.
The results suggest that the association between migration and cognitive function differs by gender and country. In our study populations, major sociodemographic characteristics play a key role in accounting for the differences in cognitive function.