Study: African Americans Who Experience Adversity Have Stronger Cognitive Abilities in Old Age
Have you ever heard those stories being told by your grandparents about how difficult it was when they were kids? Well, it turns out that many of these stories actually made your grandparents into a stronger people.
A recent study finds that African Americans who went through tough times as children have a greater ability to stay alert and focused for longer periods of time. The study was completed at the University of California, San Francisco.
The authors of the study claim that early life difficulties such as poverty and other adverse conditions can make you more alert in old age.
The strangest thing about the study is that the results applied to African Americans and not to white patients.
“The protective effect of adversity in older African Americans was unexpected and the biological basis of the association is unknown,” they said.
Previous research has suggested that deprivation and adverse experiences in childhood may influence health and cognitive ability in old age, but little is known about the effects of these early life circumstances on the actual rate of cognitive decline.
So Barnes and colleagues analyzed data from a population-based study of aging that included more than 6,100 older residents of Chicago.
A total of 61.4% were African American, 37.7% were white, and the remainder were Hispanic or of unknown ethnicity.