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Predictors of Successful Memory Aging in Older Mexican Adults.

Background: Research suggests a significant association between increasing age and memory impairments. Nevertheless, for some individuals, memory performance stays within or above the normative values of younger subjects. This is known as successful memory aging and is associated with specific neurophysiological features and psychological and lifestyle-related variables. To date, little is known about the association between successful memory aging and intrinsic capacity (IC) defined as "the composite of all the physical and mental (including psychosocial) capacities that an individual can draw on at any point in time" and resilience. Hence, the aim of this study was to determine if longitudinal associations between IC and successful memory aging and resilience exist and to find differences in cognitive performance between Mexican older adults with successful memory aging, older adults with average memory, and older adults with memory impairment.

Methods: Longitudinal data from 590 individuals from the third wave (2012) and the Mex-Cog subsample (2016) of the Mexican Health and Aging Study was analysed. Subjects were classified into 3 groups: (1) older adults with successful memory aging (SUMA), (2) older adults with average memory (AVMA), and (3) older adults with memory impairment (IMA). Cognitive domains of orientation, language, attention, constructional praxis, and executive function were evaluated. IC and resilience were measured using items from the MHAS battery. Analysis of variance and multinomial logistic regressions were used to find differences in IC and resilience across the memory aging groups.

Results: ANOVAs showed significant differences across the three cognitive performance groups in all cognitive domains. Multinomial logistic regression analyses revealed that respondents with higher scores in the psychological and cognitive domains of IC at baseline were more likely to have successful memory aging in the subsequent wave of the study. More resilient subjects in 2012 were not more likely to become a SUMA in 2016. However, this could be a result of the way resilience was measured.

Conclusion: Our main findings suggest that intrinsic capacity could be used as a predictor of successful memory aging specifically in the psychological and the cognitive domains. More longitudinal studies are needed to further examine these associations.

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