Korean J Fam Pract. 2017; 7(3): 337-341  https://doi.org/10.21215/kjfp.2017.7.3.337
Tangible Social Support and Cognitive Decline in the Elderly: The Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging
Won Joon Lee, Haa-Gyoung Kim, Hyunha Kim, Seung Ryoung Yoo, Soo Eun Jang, Mi-Kyeong Oh*
Department of Family Medicine, Gangneung Asan Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Gangneung, Korea
Mi-Kyeong Oh
Tel: +82-33-610-3325, Fax: +82-33-641-8130
E-mail: omk@gnah.co.kr
Received: February 26, 2016; Revised: June 27, 2016; Accepted: July 7, 2016; Published online: June 20, 2017.
© Korean Academy of Family Medicine. All rights reserved.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: Low levels of social support are known to be linked to decreased cognitive function and increased dementia risks. This study examined how tangible social support provided by offspring to their parents reduces cognitive decline among the elderly.
Methods: This study used data from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging. The study subjects were 1,540 individuals aged 65 years and older population who evidenced no cognitive impairment (Korean-Mini Mental State Examination ≥24). They were interviewed in 2006, and then were followed up with for 2 years. Tangible social support (monetary or other) was categorized as giver (and/or taker), only taker, or neither. A multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine the relationships between tangible social support and cognitive decline.
Results: After adjusting for potential confounders, the neither and only taker groups were likely to undergo cognitive decline compared to those in the monetary give-and-take group (odds ratio [OR], 2.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.36–3.60; OR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.07–2.68, respectively). Among those of the lowest socioeconomic status, the neither group demonstrated more cognitive decline than did the monetary give-and-take group (OR, 4.78; 95% CI, 1.39–22.36).
Conclusion: Encouraging give-and-take between parents and their offspring may assist in protecting the elderly from cognitive decline.
Keywords: Elderly; Social Support; Cognitive Decline
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