Residential Mobility and Cognitive Function Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults in China

Hanzhang Xu, Matthew E. Dupre, Truls Østbye, Allison Vorderstrasse, Bei Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: To assess the association between rural and urban residential mobility and cognitive function among middle-aged and older adults in China. Method: We used data from the World Health Organization Study on global AGEing and adult health that included adults age 50+ from China (N = 12,410). We used multivariate linear regressions to examine how residential mobility and age at migration were associated with cognitive function. Results: Urban and urban-to-urban residents had the highest level of cognitive function, whereas rural and rural-to-rural residents had the poorest cognitive function. Persons who migrated to/within rural areas before age 20 had poorer cognitive function than those who migrated during later adulthood. Socioeconomic factors played a major role in accounting for the disparities in cognition; however, the association remained significant after inclusion of all covariates. Discussion: Residential mobility and age at migration have significant implications for cognitive function among middle-aged and older adults in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalResearch on Aging
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • China
  • cognition
  • mobility
  • social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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