Background: Neighborhood disadvantage has been linked to cognitive impairment, but little is known about the effect of neighborhood disadvantage on long-term cancer-related memory decline. Methods: Incident cancer diagnosis and memory (immediate and delayed recall, combined with proxy-reported memory) were assessed at biennial interviews in the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (N=13,293, 1998-2016). Neighborhood disadvantage was measured using the National Neighborhood Data Archive disadvantage index, categorized into tertiles (T1: least disadvantaged - T3: most disadvantaged). Linear mixed-effects models estimated the standardized memory trajectories in participants with or without cancer, by neighborhood disadvantage. Results: Living in more disadvantaged neighborhoods was associated with worse mean memory function and steeper memory declines, regardless of cancer status. An incident cancer diagnosis was associated with an acute memory drop for those living in least disadvantaged neighborhoods but not more disadvantaged neighborhoods (T1: -0.05, 95% CI: -0.08, -0.01; T3: -0.13, 95% CI: -0.06, 0.03). Cancer survivors in the least disadvantaged neighborhoods had a slight memory advantage in the years prior to diagnosis (T1: 0.09, 95% CI: 0.04, 0.13) and after diagnosis (T1: 0.07, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.13). Conclusions: An incident cancer diagnosis among those living in the least disadvantaged neighborhoods was associated with an acute memory drop at the time of diagnosis and a long-term memory advantage before and after diagnosis compared to cancer-free individuals in similar neighborhoods. Impact: These findings could inform interventions to promote cancer survivor’s long-term aging. Future studies should investigate the social and biological pathways through which nSES could influence cancer-related memory changes.

This content is only available via PDF.

Article PDF first page preview

Article PDF first page preview
You do not currently have access to this content.