Correlates of subjective memory impairment (SMI) were investigated using data from a community study of 1,204 individuals aged 65 or over in an urban and rural area of South Korea. SMI and depression were ascertained from the Geriatric Mental State Schedule and cognitive function from the Korean version of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE-K). 686 participants had also completed the MMSE-K two years earlier. SMI was present in 22% of the sample and was associated with depression and lower MMSE-K scores. Depression and SMI were most strongly associated in the presence of cognitive impairment. SMI was weakly associated with previous cognitive decline and was not associated with APOE e4. SMI and cognitive impairment were most strongly associated in urban residents, particularly rural-to-urban migrants.

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