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Cognitive decline is associated with risk aversion and temporal discounting in older adults without dementia.

James BD, Boyle PA, Yu L, Han SD, Bennett DA - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Temporal discounting: participants were asked to choose between an immediate, smaller payment and a delayed, larger one; two sets of questions addressed small and large stakes based on payment amount.Over an average of 5.5 (SD=2.9) years, cognition declined at an average of 0.016 units per year (SD=0.03).These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that subtle age-related changes in cognition can detrimentally affect individual preferences that are critical for maintaining health and well being.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, Chicago, IL, United States of America; Department of Internal Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Risk aversion and temporal discounting are preferences that are strongly linked to sub-optimal financial and health decision making ability. Prior studies have shown they differ by age and cognitive ability, but it remains unclear whether differences are due to age-related cognitive decline or lower cognitive abilities over the life span. We tested the hypothesis that cognitive decline is associated with higher risk aversion and temporal discounting in 455 older persons without dementia from the Memory and Aging Project, a longitudinal cohort study of aging in Chicago. All underwent repeated annual cognitive evaluations using a detailed battery including 19 tests. Risk aversion was measured using standard behavioral economics questions: participants were asked to choose between a certain monetary payment versus a gamble in which they could gain more or nothing; potential gamble gains varied across questions. Temporal discounting: participants were asked to choose between an immediate, smaller payment and a delayed, larger one; two sets of questions addressed small and large stakes based on payment amount. Regression analyses were used to examine whether prior rate of cognitive decline predicted level of risk aversion and temporal discounting, controlling for age, sex, and education. Over an average of 5.5 (SD=2.9) years, cognition declined at an average of 0.016 units per year (SD=0.03). More rapid cognitive decline predicted higher levels of risk aversion (p=0.002) and temporal discounting (small stakes: p=0.01, high stakes: p=0.006). Further, associations between cognitive decline and risk aversion (p=0.015) and large stakes temporal discounting (p=0.026) persisted in analyses restricted to persons without any cognitive impairment (i.e., no dementia or mild cognitive impairment); the association of cognitive decline and small stakes temporal discounting was no longer statistically significant (p=0.078). These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that subtle age-related changes in cognition can detrimentally affect individual preferences that are critical for maintaining health and well being.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Association of cognitive decline with risk aversion as derived from a non-linear mixed effects model.The figure depicts the probability of taking the gamble as a function of the gamble gain in dollars. Lower curves on the Y axis indicate more risk aversion. Predicted curves are shown for a typical participant (i.e., female with median age, education, and income) at three different levels of cognitive decline: red indicates fast (highest 10th percentile), blue indicates median, and green indicates slow (lowest 10th percentile) cognitive decline.
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pone.0121900.g001: Association of cognitive decline with risk aversion as derived from a non-linear mixed effects model.The figure depicts the probability of taking the gamble as a function of the gamble gain in dollars. Lower curves on the Y axis indicate more risk aversion. Predicted curves are shown for a typical participant (i.e., female with median age, education, and income) at three different levels of cognitive decline: red indicates fast (highest 10th percentile), blue indicates median, and green indicates slow (lowest 10th percentile) cognitive decline.

Mentions: To test the hypothesis that the prior rate of change in global cognition predicted the level of risk aversion, we constructed a nonlinear mixed effect model with risk aversion as the outcome and terms for global cognitive slope (i.e., annual rate of cognitive change), age at risk aversion assessment, sex, and education. The results of this analysis showed that a more rapid rate of cognitive decline was associated with higher risk aversion (Table 1, Fig. 1). To clarify this effect, when the rate of decline in global cognition increased by 1 standard deviation (of the slope), the risk aversion score was on average 45% higher than the mean risk aversion score.


Cognitive decline is associated with risk aversion and temporal discounting in older adults without dementia.

James BD, Boyle PA, Yu L, Han SD, Bennett DA - PLoS ONE (2015)

Association of cognitive decline with risk aversion as derived from a non-linear mixed effects model.The figure depicts the probability of taking the gamble as a function of the gamble gain in dollars. Lower curves on the Y axis indicate more risk aversion. Predicted curves are shown for a typical participant (i.e., female with median age, education, and income) at three different levels of cognitive decline: red indicates fast (highest 10th percentile), blue indicates median, and green indicates slow (lowest 10th percentile) cognitive decline.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4383618&req=5

pone.0121900.g001: Association of cognitive decline with risk aversion as derived from a non-linear mixed effects model.The figure depicts the probability of taking the gamble as a function of the gamble gain in dollars. Lower curves on the Y axis indicate more risk aversion. Predicted curves are shown for a typical participant (i.e., female with median age, education, and income) at three different levels of cognitive decline: red indicates fast (highest 10th percentile), blue indicates median, and green indicates slow (lowest 10th percentile) cognitive decline.
Mentions: To test the hypothesis that the prior rate of change in global cognition predicted the level of risk aversion, we constructed a nonlinear mixed effect model with risk aversion as the outcome and terms for global cognitive slope (i.e., annual rate of cognitive change), age at risk aversion assessment, sex, and education. The results of this analysis showed that a more rapid rate of cognitive decline was associated with higher risk aversion (Table 1, Fig. 1). To clarify this effect, when the rate of decline in global cognition increased by 1 standard deviation (of the slope), the risk aversion score was on average 45% higher than the mean risk aversion score.

Bottom Line: Temporal discounting: participants were asked to choose between an immediate, smaller payment and a delayed, larger one; two sets of questions addressed small and large stakes based on payment amount.Over an average of 5.5 (SD=2.9) years, cognition declined at an average of 0.016 units per year (SD=0.03).These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that subtle age-related changes in cognition can detrimentally affect individual preferences that are critical for maintaining health and well being.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, Chicago, IL, United States of America; Department of Internal Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Risk aversion and temporal discounting are preferences that are strongly linked to sub-optimal financial and health decision making ability. Prior studies have shown they differ by age and cognitive ability, but it remains unclear whether differences are due to age-related cognitive decline or lower cognitive abilities over the life span. We tested the hypothesis that cognitive decline is associated with higher risk aversion and temporal discounting in 455 older persons without dementia from the Memory and Aging Project, a longitudinal cohort study of aging in Chicago. All underwent repeated annual cognitive evaluations using a detailed battery including 19 tests. Risk aversion was measured using standard behavioral economics questions: participants were asked to choose between a certain monetary payment versus a gamble in which they could gain more or nothing; potential gamble gains varied across questions. Temporal discounting: participants were asked to choose between an immediate, smaller payment and a delayed, larger one; two sets of questions addressed small and large stakes based on payment amount. Regression analyses were used to examine whether prior rate of cognitive decline predicted level of risk aversion and temporal discounting, controlling for age, sex, and education. Over an average of 5.5 (SD=2.9) years, cognition declined at an average of 0.016 units per year (SD=0.03). More rapid cognitive decline predicted higher levels of risk aversion (p=0.002) and temporal discounting (small stakes: p=0.01, high stakes: p=0.006). Further, associations between cognitive decline and risk aversion (p=0.015) and large stakes temporal discounting (p=0.026) persisted in analyses restricted to persons without any cognitive impairment (i.e., no dementia or mild cognitive impairment); the association of cognitive decline and small stakes temporal discounting was no longer statistically significant (p=0.078). These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that subtle age-related changes in cognition can detrimentally affect individual preferences that are critical for maintaining health and well being.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus