Aims: To investigate self-reports of memory and health as predictors of transition to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or any mild cognitive disorder (any MCD) in a community-based study. Method: 2,082 individuals, aged 60–64 years, were assessed at 2 time points 4 years apart for MCI using either the International Consensus Criteria, the Clinical Dementia Rating scale (CDR, 0.5), or a suite of criteria sets for mild cognitive disorders (any MCD) and global cognitive change. Logistic and multiple regression was used to assess conversion to diagnosis and cognitive change from the SF-12 self-rated health (SRH) and physical health subscale measures, as well as reports of memory problems. Results: Of the 2,082 participants with no cognitive impairment at wave 1, 18 participants had a diagnosis of MCI, 32 a CDR score of 0.5, and 64 participants presented with any MCD 4 years later. After controlling for age, sex and education, SRH and physical health were significant predictors of MCD, memory interference was the only significant predictor of MCI, and cognitive change was associated with SRH, physical health and memory interference. Conclusion: Brief, short, easily collected self-reports of health, disability and memory can provide useful information on the risk of MCD and cognitive decline in young-old adults.

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