Publication Date



The Journals of Gerontology: Series B


OBJECTIVES: Mexico has a rapidly aging population at risk for cognitive impairment. Social and leisure activities may protect against cognitive decline in older adults. The benefits of these behaviors may vary by patterns of cognitive impairment. The objectives of this study were to identify latent states of cognitive functioning, model the incidence of transitions between these states, and investigate how social and leisure activities were associated with state transitions over a 6-year period in Mexican adults aged 60 and older.

METHODS: We performed latent transition analyses to identify distinct cognitive statuses in the 2012 and 2018 waves of the Mexican Health and Aging Study (N = 9,091). We examined the transition probabilities between these states and their associations with social and leisure activities.

RESULTS: We identified 4 cognitive statuses at baseline: normal cognition (43%), temporal disorientation (30%), perceptual-motor function impairment (7%), and learning and memory impairment (20%). Various social and leisure activities were associated with reduced odds of death and disadvantageous cognitive transitions, as well as increased odds of beneficial transitions.

DISCUSSION: Mapping the effects of popular social and leisure activities onto common patterns in cognitive functioning may inform the development of more enjoyable and effective health-protective behavioral interventions.


Cognitive aging, Health behavior, Hispanic or Latino, Leisure activities, Longitudinal studies



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