Although increased confusion or memory loss is commonly thought of as a concern only among older adults, a CDC study found that those who suffer from memory limitations and functional difficulties tended to be younger than those with confusion or memory loss and no functional difficulties.
Using data from 21 states participating in the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, researchers examined the demographic and health characteristics of people aged 45 years or older with self-reported increased confusion or memory loss.
“Eligibility for services is often age-dependent; our findings underscore a need to ensure assistance for people who have increased confusion or memory loss and functional difficulties but who do not meet the present age-related eligibility requirements,” the researchers suggest.
A growing body of evidence suggests a greater burden of multiple chronic health conditions among adults aged 60 years or older who report memory limitations than among those who report no such limitations. However, this study reveals a greater prevalence of disability and poor mental and physical health among respondents aged 45 or older with increased confusion or memory loss and functional difficulties compared to those with no functional difficulties. It suggests that there may be a high level of unmet need for assistance among people with memory limitations – particularly those with functional difficulties.
Article: Demographic and Health Status Differences Among People Aged 45 or Older With and Without Functional Difficulties Related to Increased Confusion or Memory Loss, 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Lynda A. Anderson, PhD; Angela Deokar, MPH; Valerie J. Edwards, PhD; Erin D. Bouldin, PhD, MPH; Kurt J. Greenlund, PhD, Preventing Chronic Disease, DOI: 10.5888/pcd12.140429, published 5 March 2015.