Study: Older Americans score better than English counterparts on memory test

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When it comes to memory and awareness, older Americans are demonstrably more "with it" than the English, new research shows.

The University of Michigan study tested U.S. seniors and elderly English to see whose memories were better. More than 13,500 adults aged 65 or older were asked to recall a list of 10 common words immediately after hearing them, and again five minutes later. Americans scored an average of 12.8 points (out of a possible 24) compared to 11.4 points scored by the English aggregate. That represents a difference of about 10 years of aging.

According to study authors, the reason for the difference likely has to do with higher levels of education and net worth in the U.S. They point out that Americans have higher rates of cardiovascular disease—which is linked to cognitive decline—but that aggressive treatment could explain the Americans' higher score. The results of the study appear online in the journal BMC Geriatrics.