Few community-based studies have examined occurrence and progression of subjective cognitive decline (SCD).
To investigate prevalence and progression of SCD among rural-dwelling Chinese elderly people.
This cohort study included 2,488 cognitively unimpaired adults (age≥65 years) who were examined at baseline (2014-2015) and followed in 2018. Demographic, epidemiological, clinical, and neuropsychological data were collected via in-person interviews and clinical examinations following a structured questionnaire. At baseline, SCD was assessed using the self-rated Ascertain Dementia 8-item Questionnaire. At follow-up, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) were clinically diagnosed following the international criteria. Data were analyzed using logistic regression models.
The prevalence of SCD was 40.07%. SCD at baseline was associated with the multivariable-adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 1.51 (95% confidence interval 1.10-2.07) for incident cognitive impairment, no dementia (CIND) and 3.11 (1.64-5.93) for incident AD. Among people with SCD at baseline, the multivariable-adjusted OR of incident CIND was 0.55(0.32-0.96) for hyperlipidemia; the multivariable-adjusted OR of incident AD was 1.21 (1.14-1.30) for older age, 0.32 (0.12-0.88) for high education, 2.60 (1.11-6.08) for carrying APOEɛ4 allele, and 0.34 (0.13-0.86) for high social support, whereas the multivariable-adjusted OR of incident VaD was 6.30 (1.71-23.18) for obesity.
SCD affects over 40% of rural-dwelling cognitively unimpaired older adults in China. SCD is associated with accelerated progression to CIND and AD. Older age, lack of school education, APOEɛ4 allele, and low social support are associated with an increased risk of progression from SCD to AD, whereas obesity is related to accelerated progression to VaD.