Table of Contents
Journal of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 176843, 9 pages
Research Article

Prevalence and Cognitive Bases of Subjective Memory Complaints in Older Adults: Evidence from a Community Sample

1Parkinson Research Institute of the Wisconsin Parkinson Association, 945 North 12th Street, Suite 4602, Milwaukee, WI 53233, USA
2Neurological Outcomes Center, Neurological Institute, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
3Department of Psychology, Cardinal Stritch University, 6801 North Yates Road, Milwaukee, WI 53217, USA
4Department of Psychology, John Carroll University, John Carroll Boulevard, University Heights, OH 44118, USA

Received 31 October 2013; Revised 4 February 2014; Accepted 15 February 2014; Published 27 April 2014

Academic Editor: Yaroslav Winter

Copyright © 2014 Thomas Fritsch et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To estimate the prevalence of subjective memory complaints (SMCs) in a sample of community-dwelling, older adults and to examine cognitive bases of these complaints. Participants. 499 community-dwelling adults, 65 and older. Measurements. A telephone survey consisting of cognitive tests and clinical and sociodemographic variables. SMCs were based on subjects' evaluations and subjects' perceptions of others' evaluations. Analysis. Logistic regression was used to model the risk for SMCs as a function of the cognitive, clinical, and sociodemographic variables. We tested for interactions of the cognitive variables with age, education, and gender. Results. 27.1% reported memory complaints. Among the younger age, better objective memory performance predicted lower risk for SMCs, while among the older age, better memory had no effect on risk. Among the better-educated people, better global cognitive functioning predicted lower risk for SMCs, while among the less-educated people, better global cognitive functioning had no effect on SMC risk. When predicting others' perceptions, better objective memory was associated with lower risk for SMCs. Conclusion. Objective memory performance and global cognitive functioning are associated with lower risk for SMCs, but these relationships are the strongest for the younger age and those with more education, respectively. Age and education may affect the ability to accurately appraise cognitive functioning.