The Danish Aging and Cognition (DanACo) cohort

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Background: With aging populations worldwide, identification of predictors of age-related cognitive decline is becoming increasingly important. The Danish Aging and Cognition Cohort (DanACo) including more than 5000 Danish men was established to investigate predictors of age-related cognitive decline from young adulthood to late mid-life. Construction and content: The DanACo cohort was established through two separate data collections with identical designs involving a follow-up examination in late mid-life of men for whom intelligence test scores were available from their mandatory conscription board examination. The cohort consists of 5,183 men born from 1949 through 1961, with a mean age of 20.4 years at baseline and a mean age of 64.4 years at follow-up. The baseline measures consisted of height, weight, intelligence test score and educational level collected at the conscription board examination. The follow-up assessment consisted of a re-administration of the same intelligence test and a comprehensive questionnaire covering socio-demographic factors, lifestyle, and health-related factors. The data were collected in test sessions with up to 24 participants per session. Using the unique personal identification number assigned to all Danes, the cohort has been linked to data from national administrative and health registers for prospectively collected data on socioeconomic and health-related factors. Utility and discussion: The DanACo cohort has some major strengths compared to existing cognitive aging cohorts such as a large sample size (n = 5,183 men), a validated global measure of cognitive ability, a long retest interval (mean 44.0 years) and the availability of prospectively collected data from registries as well as comprehensive questionnaire data. The main weakness is the low participation rate (14.3%) and that the cohort consists of men only. Conclusion: Cognitive decline is a result of a summary of factors across the life-course. The DanACo cohort is characterized by a long retest interval and contains data on a wealth of factors across adult life which is essential to establish evidence on predictors of cognitive decline. Moreover, the size of the cohort ensures sufficient statistical power to identify even relatively weak predictors of cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish
Article number238
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.

    Research areas

  • Aging, Børge Priens Prøve (BPP), Cognitive decline, DanACo, DiaKO-19, Intelligence, LiKO-15

ID: 386154926