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Weather Woes? Exploring Potential Links between Precipitation and Age-Related Cognitive Decline

1
Social Environment and Health Program, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 426 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA
2
School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
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Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, 530 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
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School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1665 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35233, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 9011; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239011
Received: 21 October 2020 / Revised: 25 November 2020 / Accepted: 30 November 2020 / Published: 3 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Rain, snow, or ice may discourage older adults from leaving their homes with potential consequences for social isolation, decreased physical activity, and cognitive decline. This study is the first to examine potential links between annual precipitation exposure and cognitive function in a large population-based cohort of older Americans. We examined the association between precipitation (percent of days with snow or rain in the past year) and cognitive function in 25,320 individuals aged 45+ from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke Study. Linear mixed models assessed the relationship between precipitation and cognitive function, as well as rates of change in cognitive function with age. We found a non-linear relationship between precipitation and cognitive function. Compared to those exposed to infrequent precipitation (less than 20% of days with rain/snow in the past year), cognitive function was higher among older adults experiencing moderately frequent precipitation (20–40% of annual days with precipitation). However, beyond more than about 45% of days with precipitation in the past year, there was a negative association between precipitation and cognitive function, with faster rates of cognitive decline with age. These exploratory findings motivate further research to better understand the complex role of precipitation for late-life cognitive function. View Full-Text
Keywords: cognitive function; longitudinal; aging; environment; climate cognitive function; longitudinal; aging; environment; climate
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MDPI and ACS Style

Finlay, J.; Khan, A.; Gronlund, C.; Sol, K.; Jang, J.; Melendez, R.; Judd, S.; Clarke, P. Weather Woes? Exploring Potential Links between Precipitation and Age-Related Cognitive Decline. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 9011. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239011

AMA Style

Finlay J, Khan A, Gronlund C, Sol K, Jang J, Melendez R, Judd S, Clarke P. Weather Woes? Exploring Potential Links between Precipitation and Age-Related Cognitive Decline. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(23):9011. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239011

Chicago/Turabian Style

Finlay, Jessica, Anam Khan, Carina Gronlund, Ketlyne Sol, Joy Jang, Robert Melendez, Suzanne Judd, and Philippa Clarke. 2020. "Weather Woes? Exploring Potential Links between Precipitation and Age-Related Cognitive Decline" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 23: 9011. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239011

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