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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


MARTINEZ-SANGUINETTI, María Adela et al. Factors associated with cognitive impairment in older adults in Chile. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2019, vol.147, n.8, pp.1013-1023. ISSN 0034-9887.


The risk factors for the development of cognitive impairment are not well known.


To identify socio-demographic, lifestyle and health-related factors associated with cognitive impairment in older Chilean adults.

Material and Methods:

Data analysis of 1,384 participants ≥ 60 years who participated in the National Health Survey of Chile 2009-2010. Sociodemographic, lifestyle and health-related factors were used as exposure variables of interest. Cognitive impairment was assessed using an abbreviated version of the Mini Mental test and defined as a score < 13 points of a maximum of 19. A logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with cognitive impairment.


In this sample, the prevalence of cognitive impairment was 11.6 [95% confidence intervals (CI): 8.8; 15.2]. The factors associated with cognitive impairment were age (Odds ratio (OR) for > 76 years: 4.89, p < 0.01), male sex (OR: 2.42, p = 0.02), lower education (OR: 21.6, p < 0.01), physical inactivity (OR: 2.07, p = 0.02), sedentary behavior (OR: 2.23, p = 0.01), sleeping > 9/hours/day (OR: 2.98, p = 0.01), consumption of < 5 portions/day of fruit and vegetables (OR: 2.02, p = 0.05), having an unhealthy lifestyle (OR: 6.10, p = 0.0001), being underweight (OR: 3.67, p < 0.01), obesity (OR: 3.32, p = 0.03), having hearing impairment (OR: 2.26, p = 0.02), having a visual impairment (OR: 3.89, p < 0.01), a history of depression (OR: 3.03, p = 0.01) and having a physical disability (OR: 5.63, p < 0.01).


We identified 14 factors associated with cognitive impairment. Although some of these factors were non-modifiable such as age and sex, most of them could be modified by implementing prevention programs aiming to improve lifestyle behaviors in older adults in Chile.

Keywords : Aged; Cognitive Dysfunction; Life Style; Multimorbidity.

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