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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Demographic Variables on Subjective Neurocognitive Complaints Using the Neurocognitive Questionnaire (NCQ) in an Aged Japanese Population

1
Departments of Clinical Studies and Statistics, Radiation Effects Research Foundation, 5-2 Hijiyama Park, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 732-0815, Japan
2
Department of Biostatistics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA
3
Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105-3678, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030421
Received: 7 January 2019 / Revised: 29 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
Objectives: In an aged Japanese population, we investigated associations of demographic variables with subjective neurocognitive complaints using the Neurocognitive Questionnaire (NCQ). Methods: Participants (N = 649) provided answers to the NCQ in both 2011 and 2013. Using fully-completed NCQs from 503 participants in 2011, we identified latent factors of subjective neurocognitive complaints using exploratory factor analysis; then examined associations of demographic variables with the identified factors for all 649 participants over the two years. We also examined changes in factor scores over the 2-year period. Results: We identified four factors representing 20 of the 25 NCQ items and labelled them metacognition, emotional regulation, motivation/organization, and processing speed. In a regression model using all participants, we observed linear deterioration with age on emotional regulation and linear-quadratic deterioration with age on the other factors. Less education was associated with more problems for all factors, but we detected no evidence of interaction between age and education. In 314 participants completing both assessments, paired t-tests comparing the 2013 to 2011 responses corroborated the regression results, except for emotional regulation. Conclusions: On the NCQ, older age and less education were associated with more subjective neurocognitive complaints. This is compatible with the association of the same factors with objective cognition and suggests that subjective cognitive complaints complement objective cognition as a prodrome of non-normative cognitive decline. View Full-Text
Keywords: subjective neurocognitive complaint; aging; education; demographic factors; questionnaire; factor analysis subjective neurocognitive complaint; aging; education; demographic factors; questionnaire; factor analysis
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Yamada, M.; Landes, R.D.; Hida, A.; Ishihara, K.; Krull, K.R. Effects of Demographic Variables on Subjective Neurocognitive Complaints Using the Neurocognitive Questionnaire (NCQ) in an Aged Japanese Population. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 421.

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