Nutrition, Immigration and Health Determinants are Linked to Verbal Fluency among Anglophone Adults in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA)

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • E. Fuller-Thomson
  • Z. Saab
  • K. M. Davison
  • V. Taler
  • K. Kobayashi
  • H. Tong

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)672-680
Number of pages9
Journal / PublicationJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Volume24
Issue number6
Online published1 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Objectives: Later-life cognitive impairment is an important health issue; however, little is known about the condition among diverse groups such as immigrants. This study aims to examine whether the healthy immigrant effect exists for verbal fluency, an indicator of cognitive functioning, among anglophone middle-aged and older adults in Canada. Methods: Using from the baseline data of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), multiple linear regression was employed to compare associations among immigrants (recent and long-term) and Canadian-born residents without dementia for two verbal fluency tests, the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT) and the Animal Fluency (AF) task. Covariates included socioeconomic, physical health, and dietary intake. Results: Of 8,574 anglophone participants (85.7% Canada-born, 74.8% aged 45–65 years, 81.8% married, 81.9% with a post-secondary degree), long-term immigrants (settled in Canada >20 years) performed significantly better than Canadian-born residents for the COWAT (42.8 vs 40.9) but not the AF task (22.4 vs 22.4). Results of the multivariable adjusted regression analyses showed that long-term immigrants performed better than Canadian-born peers in both the COWAT (B=1.57, 95% CI: 0.80–2.34) and the AF test (B=0.57, 95% CI: 0.19–0.95), but this advantage was not observed among recent immigrants. Other factors associated with low verbal fluency performance included being single, socioeconomically disadvantaged, having hypertension, excess body fat, and consuming low amounts of pulses/nuts or fruit/vegetables. Conclusions: Long-term immigrants had higher verbal fluency test scores than their Canadian-born counterparts. Immigration status, social, health and nutritional factors are important considerations for possible intervention and prevention strategies for cognitive impairment.

Research Area(s)

  • Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), dietary intake, Executive function, immigrants, letter fluency, semantic fluency

Citation Format(s)

Nutrition, Immigration and Health Determinants are Linked to Verbal Fluency among Anglophone Adults in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA). / Fuller-Thomson, E.; Saab, Z.; Davison, K. M. et al.
In: Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, Vol. 24, No. 6, 06.2020, p. 672-680.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review