The Danish Aging and Cognition (DanACo) cohort

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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.

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.
TidsskriftBMC Geriatrics
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 2024

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the Danish Defense for the permission to use the military intelligence test in the follow-up examinations and the personnel at the Military Recruitment and Career – Selection and Assessment Unit for excellent collaboration during the data collections. Moreover, the authors would like to thank the project workers including project coordinators and data collectors, Susanne Birk Rasmussen, Sarah Jegsmark Gibbons, Lea Arregui Nordahl Christoffersen, Marie Stampe Emborg, and Kristine Hell for their invaluable work in conducting the data collections for the LiKO-15 and DiaKO-19 studies. The authors would also like to thank A Urfer-Parnas and J Parnas who established the psychiatric database and gave permission to use the database for the LiKO-15 study. The authors also thank M Osler, K Christensen, D Molbo, EL Mortensen and TIA Sørensen who established the Danish Conscription Database. Finally, the authors thank all men who offered their time and participated in the follow-up examinations.

Funding Information:
Further support for ongoing research using the LiKO-15 and DiaKO-19 cohorts has been granted by the Lundbeck foundation [grant number: R380-2021–1433], Helsefonden [grant number: 22-B-0196], and by the internal research funds of Frederiksberg and Bispebjerg hospitals.

Funding Information:
Open access funding provided by Copenhagen University This work was supported by a number of grants. The establishment of the LiKO-15 cohort was part of the Phenotypes in Alcohol Use Disorders project, which was supported by Innovation Fund Denmark, Health and Clinical Research [grant number 603-00520B] and was further supported by the Center for Healthy Aging, University of Copenhagen, and a PhD scholarship grant to MG from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. The establishment of the DiaKO-19 cohort was supported by grants from Independent Research Fund Denmark [grant number: 8020-00094B], Svend Andersen foundation, and Doctor Sofus Carl Emil Friis and wife Olga Doris Friis’s foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.

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