Midlife psychological stress and risk of dementia: a 35-year longitudinal population study
ABSTRACT The number of people with dementia has increased dramatically with global ageing. Nevertheless, the pathogeneses of these diseases are not sufficiently understood. The present study aims to analyse the relationship between psychological stress in midlife and the development of dementia in late-life. A representative sample of females (n = 1462) aged 38-60 years were examined in 1968-69 and re-examined in 1974-75, 1980-81, 1992-93 and 2000-03. Psychological stress was rated according to a standardized question in 1968, 1974 and 1980. Dementia was diagnosed according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria based on information from neuropsychiatric examinations, informant interviews, hospital records and registry data. During the 35-year follow-up, 161 females developed dementia (105 Alzheimer's disease, 40 vascular dementia and 16 other dementias). We found that the risk of dementia (hazard ratios, 95% confidence intervals) was increased in females reporting frequent/constant stress in 1968 (1.60, 1.10-2.34), in 1974 (1.65, 1.12-2.41) and in 1980 (1.60, 1.01-2.52). Frequent/constant stress reported in 1968 and 1974 was associated with Alzheimer's disease. Reporting stress at one, two or three examinations was related to a sequentially higher dementia risk. Compared to females reporting no stress, hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for incident dementia were 1.10 (0.71-1.71) for females reporting frequent/constant stress at one examination, 1.73 (1.01-2.95) for those reporting stress at two examinations and 2.51 (1.33-4.77) at three examinations. To conclude, we found an association between psychological stress in middle-aged women and development of dementia, especially Alzheimer's disease. More studies are needed to confirm our findings and to study potential neurobiological mechanisms of these associations.
- American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 02/2015; 23(5). DOI:10.1016/j.jagp.2015.02.005 · 3.52 Impact Factor
- BMC Geriatrics 12/2015; 15(1). DOI:10.1186/s12877-015-0020-5 · 2.00 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In contrast to findings from cohorts comprised primarily of HIV-infected men, verbal memory deficits are the largest cognitive deficit found in HIV-infected women from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), and this deficit is not explained by depressive symptoms or substance abuse. HIV-infected women may be at greater risk for verbal memory deficits due to a higher prevalence of cognitive risk factors such as high psychosocial stress and lower socioeconomic status. Here, we investigate the association between perceived stress using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) and verbal memory performance using the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT) in 1009 HIV-infected and 496 at-risk HIV-uninfected WIHS participants. Participants completed a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery which yielded seven cognitive domain scores, including a primary outcome of verbal memory. HIV infection was not associated with a higher prevalence of high perceived stress (i.e., PSS-10 score in the top tertile) but was associated with worse performance on verbal learning (p < 0.01) and memory (p < 0.001), as well as attention (p = 0.02). Regardless of HIV status, high stress was associated with poorer performance in those cognitive domains (p's < 0.05) as well as processing speed (p = 0.01) and executive function (p < 0.01). A significant HIV by stress interaction was found only for the verbal memory domain (p = 0.02); among HIV-infected women only, high stress was associated with lower performance (p's < 0.001). That association was driven by the delayed verbal memory measure in particular. These findings suggest that high levels of perceived stress contribute to the deficits in verbal memory observed in WIHS women.Journal of NeuroVirology 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s13365-015-0331-5 · 3.32 Impact Factor