My fellow Americans…you rock! In a new study conducted by theUniversity of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research (ISR), U.S. senior citizens did much better on a standardized test involving memory and cognitive function than seniors across the pond.
“The better cognitive performance of U.S. adults was surprising since U.S. adults had a higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, which are generally associated with cognitive decline and poorer mental function,” said Kenneth Langa, a UM researcher and lead study author.
The researchers administered this test to more than 8,000 Americans and more than 5,000 Britons who were 65 or older. The test began with researchers saying a series of 10 words, which included words like river, baby, hotel, gold and skin, to the participants. The seniors had to immediately repeat these words back. Next they were asked questions about the current date, including what day, date, month and year it was. These questions took about five minutes to complete, after which time the seniors were again asked to repeat the initial 10-word set.
After comparing the scores and taking into account a person’s age, gender, education level and country, researchers determined that the U.S. participants scored significantly higher. They scored so high, in fact, that researchers said there was a 10-year age difference in cognitive functions between the groups. This means that a 75-year-old American had about the same cognitive abilities as a 65-year-old Briton.
What’s even more astounding is that the U.S. “brain health” advantage over the U.K. was the greatest when researchers analyzed the oldest participants, who were 85 or older. Langa hypothesized that this may be due to the “aggressive diagnosis and treatment of hypertension, and possibly other cardiovascular risks, [which] leads to less cognitive decline.”
To read more about the ISR’s findings, click here.
To keep your mind sharp and ensure that American seniors remain number one, click here.