Normative performance of older individuals on the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised (HVLT-R) according to ethno-racial group, gender, age and education level

Joanne Ryan, Robyn L. Woods, Anne M. Murray, Raj C. Shah, Carlene J. Britt, Christopher M. Reid, Rory Wolfe, Mark R. Nelson, Jessica E. Lockery, Suzanne G. Orchard, Ruth E. Trevaks, Trevor J. Chong, John J. McNeil, Elsdon Storey, on behalf of the ASPREE Investigator Group

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Objective: The Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised (HVLT-R) provides a measure of verbal learning and memory. The aim of this study was to provide normative performance data on the HVLT-R for community-dwelling older individuals according to ethno-racial group, age, gender, and years of completed education, in Australia and the U.S. Method: The ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) study recruited 19,114 generally healthy community dwelling individuals aged 70 years and over (65 years and over for U.S minorities), who were without a diagnosis of dementia and scored above 77 on the modified Mini-Mental State (3MS) examination. Included in the analysis presented here were 16,251 white Australians, and in the U.S. 1,082 white, 894 African American and 314 Hispanic/Latino individuals at baseline. Results: Performance on each of the components of the HVLT-R (trials 1–3, total, learning, delayed recall, delayed recognition, percentage retention and recognition discrimination index [RDI]) differed by demographic variables. In country and ethno-racial stratified analyses, female gender, younger age and higher education were significantly associated with better total recall, delayed recall and RDI. Among white Australians these characteristics were also associated with better retention. Age, education and gender-specific reference values across ethno-racial categories were determined. Conclusions: Ethno-racial, age, gender and education-stratified normative data from this large cohort of community-dwelling older individuals will serve as important reference standards in Australia and the U.S. to assess cognition in older individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1174-1190
Number of pages17
JournalThe Clinical Neuropsychologist
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Cognitive aging
  • dementia
  • Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised (HVLT-R)
  • normative data

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