The Role of Education in the Relationship Between Age of Migration to the United States and Risk of Cognitive Impairment Among Older Mexican Americans

Downer, B.; Garcia, M.A.; Saenz, J.; Markides, K.S.; Wong, R.

Research on Aging 40(5): 411-431

2018


ISSN/ISBN: 0164-0275
PMID: 28367726
DOI: 10.1177/0164027517701447
Accession: 060384871

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Abstract
Prior research indicates age of migration is associated with cognitive health outcomes among older Mexican Americans; however, factors that explain this relationship are unclear. This study used eight waves from the Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly to examine the role of education in the risk for cognitive impairment (CI) by nativity, age of migration, and gender. Foreign-born women had a higher risk for CI than U.S.-born women, regardless of age of migration. After adjusting for education, this risk remained significant only for late-life migrant women (risk ratio [RR] = 1.28). Foreign-born men who migrated at >50 had significantly higher risk for CI compared to U.S.-born men (RR = 1.33) but not significant after adjusting for education. Findings from a decomposition analysis showed education significantly mediated the association between age of migration and CI. This study highlights the importance of education in explaining the association between age of migration and CI.