Prevalence and patterns of executive impairment in community dwelling Mexican Americans: Results from the Hispanic EPESE Study

Donald R. Royall, David V. Espino, Marsha J. Polk, Raymond F. Palmer, Kyriakos S. Markides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Introduction. Little is known about the prevalence of impaired executive control function (ECF) in community dwelling elderly or minority populations. We have determined the prevalence of cognitive impairment and impaired ECF in a community dwelling Mexican American elderly population, and their associations with functional status. Subjects. Subjects were 1165 Mexican Americans age 65 and over who were administered CLOX as part of the third wave of the Hispanic Established Population for Epidemiological Study (HEPESE) conducted from 1998 to 1999. Methods. ECF was measured by an executive clock-drawing task (CDT) (i.e. CLOX1). Non-executive cognitive function was assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and a non-executive CDT (CLOX2). CLOX scores were combined to estimate the prevalence of global CLOX failure (i.e. 'Type 1' cognitive impairment) vs isolated CLOX1 failure (i.e. Type 2 cognitive impairment). Results. 59.3% of subjects failed CLOX 1. 31.1% failed both CLOX1 and CLOX2 (Type 1 cognitive impairment). 33.3% failed CLOX1 only (Type 2 cognitive impairment). 35.6% passed both measures [no cognitive impairment (NCI)]. Many subjects with CLOX1 impairment at Wave 3 had normal MMSE scores. This was more likely to occur in the context of Type 2 cognitive impairment. Both CLOX defined cognitive impairment groups were associated with functional impairment. Conclusions. A large percentage of community dwelling Mexican American elderly suffer cognitive impairment that can be demonstrated through a CDT. Isolated executive impairments appear to be most common. The ability of a CDT to demonstrate ECF impairments potentially offers a rapid, culturally unbiased and cost-effective means of assessing this domain. In contrast, the MMSE is relatively insensitive to ECF assessed by CLOX1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)926-934
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of geriatric psychiatry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Aging
  • Assessment
  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Disability
  • Executive functions
  • Hispanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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