Stress Is Associated With Neurocognitive Function in Hispanic/Latino Adults: Results From HCHS/SOL Socio-Cultural Ancillary Study

Elizabeth Muñoz, Linda C. Gallo, Simin Hua, Martin J. Sliwinski, Robert Kaplan, Richard B. Lipton, Hector M. González, Frank J. Penedo, Wassim Tarraf, Martha L. Daviglus, Maria M. Llabre, Carmen R. Isasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the hypothesis that chronic and acculturative stress would be negatively associated with neurocognitive function among middle aged to older Hispanics/Latinos. METHOD: Our analytic sample consisted of 3,265 participants (mean age = 56.7 (±0.24)) from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos who participated in its Sociocultural Ancillary Study. During the baseline phase of this project, participants were assessed on multiple domains of neurocognitive function, and completed self-report measures of chronic and acculturative stress. RESULTS: Each standard deviation increase in chronic stress was associated with lower performance in a verbal learning task (B = -.17, 95% CI [-.32, -.01]); this association was no longer significant after adjusting for mental and physical health symptoms, including depression and anxiety symptoms, and cardiovascular health. A standard deviation increase in acculturative stress was associated with poorer performance in all cognitive measures (Bs range = -.13 to -1.03). Associations of acculturation stress with psychomotor speed, verbal learning, and word fluency remained significant after adjusting for mental and physical health symptoms. DISCUSSION: Our results suggest that mental and physical health may help explain some cross-sectional associations between stress and cognition and highlight the need to examine culture-specific psychosocial stressors to better understand the context of psychosocial risk factors for neurocognitive performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e122-e128
JournalThe journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences
Volume76
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 14 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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