[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this article three research questions are addressed: (1) Is there an association between socioeconomic status (SES) and patient-reported outcomes in a cohort of multimorbid patients? (2) Does the association vary according to SES indicator used (income, education, occupational position)? (3) Can the association between SES and patient-reported outcomes (self-rated health, health-related quality of life and functional status) be (partly) explained by burden of disease?
Analyses are based on the MultiCare Cohort Study, a German multicentre, prospective, observational cohort study of multimorbid patients from general practice. We analysed baseline data and data from the first follow-up after 15 months (N = 2,729). To assess burden of disease we used the patients’ morbidity data from standardized general practitioner (GP) interviews based on a list of 46 groups of chronic conditions including the GP’s severity rating of each chronic condition ranging from marginal to very severe.
In the cross-sectional analyses SES was significantly associated with the patient-reported outcomes at baseline. Associations with income were more consistent and stronger than with education and occupational position. Associations were partly explained (17% to 44%) by burden of disease. In the longitudinal analyses only income (but not education and occupational position) was significantly related to the patient-reported outcomes at follow-up. Associations between income and the outcomes were reduced by 18% to 27% after adjustment for burden of disease.
Results indicate social inequalities in self-rated health, functional status and health related quality of life among older multimorbid patients. As associations with education and occupational position were inconsistent, these inequalities were mainly due to income. Inequalities were partly explained by burden of disease. However, even among patients with a similar disease burden, those with a low income were worse off in terms of the three patient-reported outcomes under study.
International Journal for Equity in Health 12/2015; 14(1). DOI:10.1186/s12939-015-0142-6 · 1.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human episodic memory performance is linked to the function of specific brain regions, including the hippocampus; declines as a result of increasing age; and is markedly disturbed in Alzheimer disease (AD), an age-associated neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects the hippocampus. Exploring the molecular underpinnings of human episodic memory is key to the understanding of hippocampus-dependent cognitive physiology and pathophysiology.
To determine whether biologically defined groups of genes are enriched in episodic memory performance across age, memory encoding-related brain activity, and AD.
In this multicenter collaborative study, which began in August 2008 and is ongoing, gene set enrichment analysis was done by using primary and meta-analysis data from 57 968 participants. The Swiss cohorts consisted of 3043 healthy young adults assessed for episodic memory performance. In a subgroup (n = 1119) of one of these cohorts, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to identify gene set-dependent differences in brain activity related to episodic memory. The German Study on Aging, Cognition, and Dementia in Primary Care Patients cohort consisted of 763 elderly participants without dementia who were assessed for episodic memory performance. The International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project case-control sample consisted of 54 162 participants (17 008 patients with sporadic AD and 37 154 control participants). Analyses were conducted between January 2014 and June 2015. Gene set enrichment analysis in all samples was done using genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism data.
Episodic memory performance in the Swiss cohort and German Study on Aging, Cognition, and Dementia in Primary Care Patients cohort was quantified by picture and verbal delayed free recall tasks. In the functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment, activation of the hippocampus during encoding of pictures served as the phenotype of interest. In the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project sample, diagnosis of sporadic AD served as the phenotype of interest.
In the discovery sample, we detected significant enrichment for genes constituting the calcium signaling pathway, especially those related to the elevation of cytosolic calcium (P = 2 × 10-4). This enrichment was replicated in 2 additional samples of healthy young individuals (P = .02 and .04, respectively) and a sample of healthy elderly participants (P = .004). Hippocampal activation (P = 4 × 10-4) and the risk for sporadic AD (P = .01) were also significantly enriched for genes related to the elevation of cytosolic calcium.
By detecting consistent significant enrichment in independent cohorts of young and elderly participants, this study identified that calcium signaling plays a central role in hippocampus-dependent human memory processes in cognitive health and disease, contributing to the understanding and potential treatment of hippocampus-dependent cognitive pathology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mean body weight gradually increases with age. Yet, little data exists on the prevalence of excess weight in populations aged 80 years or older. Moreover, little is known about predictors of overweight and obesity in old age. Thus, the purpose of this study was: To present data on the prevalence of excess weight in old age in Germany, to investigate predictors of excess weight in a cross-sectional approach and to examine factors affecting excess weight in a longitudinal approach.
Subjects consisted of 1,882 individuals aged 79 years or older. The course of excess weight was observed over 3 years. Excess weight was defined as follows: Overweight (25 kg/m(2) ≤ BMI < 30 kg/m(2)) and obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m(2)). We used fixed effects regressions to estimate effects of time dependent variables on BMI, and overweight or obesity, respectively.
The majority was overweight (40.0 %) or obese (13.7 %). Cross-sectional regressions revealed that BMI was positively associated with younger age, severe walking impairments and negatively associated with cognitive impairments. Excess weight was positively associated with younger age, elementary education, walking impairments and physical inactivity, while excess weight was negatively associated with cognitive impairment. Longitudinal regressions showed that age and severely impaired walking disabilities reduced BMI. The probability of transitions to excess weight decreased considerably with older age and occurrence of severe walking impairments (overweight).
Marked differences between predictors in cross- and longitudinal setting exist, underlining the complex nature of excess weight in old age.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective
Dementia is known to increase mortality, but the relative loss of life years and contributing factors are not well established. Thus, we aimed to investigate mortality in incident dementia from disease onset.Method
Data were derived from the prospective longitudinal German AgeCoDe study. We used proportional hazards models to assess the impact of sociodemographic and health characteristics on mortality after dementia onset, Kaplan–Meier method for median survival times.ResultsOf 3214 subjects at risk, 523 (16.3%) developed incident dementia during a 9-year follow-up period. Median survival time after onset was 3.2 years (95% CI = 2.8–3.7) at a mean age of 85.0 (SD = 4.0) years (≥2.6 life years lost compared with the general German population). Survival was shorter in older age, males other dementias than Alzheimer's, and in the absence of subjective memory complaints (SMC).Conclusion
Our findings emphasize that dementia substantially shortens life expectancy. Future studies should further investigate the potential impact of SMC on mortality in dementia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the coevolution of depression and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in old age.
In a representative survey of the German general population aged 75 years and older, the course of HRQoL and depression was observed over 4.5 years (3 waves). HRQoL was assessed by the Visual Analogue Scale (EQ VAS) of the EQ-5D instrument, while the Geriatric Depression Scale was used to measure depression. A panel vector autoregressive model was used to account for the complex coevolution of depression and HRQoL. Unobserved heterogeneity was taken into account by taking the first differences.
We revealed a robust negative association between an initial change in HRQoL and a subsequent change in depression score, with substantial sex differences: In women there was a robust association, while in men the significance of this association depended on the model specification. Surprisingly, in the total sample and in both sexes, no robust association between an initial increase in depression and a subsequent change in HRQoL was found.
Findings indicate that the direction of evolution from HRQoL to depression deserves more attention. Furthermore, treatment of depression in late life should aim at improving HRQoL in which remission of depressive symptoms is necessary but not sufficient.
Quality of Life Research 05/2015; 24(11). DOI:10.1007/s11136-015-1005-8 · 2.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our objectives were (1) to test the association between the report of subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and prospective objective cognitive performance in high age individuals and (2) to study the course of longitudinal cognitive performance before and after the first report of SCD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to investigate the psychometric properties of a Short Form of the Mini-Mental State Examination (SMMSE) for the screening of dementia in older primary care patients. Data were obtained from a large longitudinal cohort study of initially nondemented individuals recruited via primary care chart registries and followed at 18-month intervals. Item and scale parameters for MMSE and SMMSE scores were analyzed and cross-validated for 2 follow-up assessments (n1 = 2,657 and n2 = 2,274). Binary logistic regression and receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were conducted in order to assess diagnostic accuracy parameters for MMSE and SMMSE scores. Cross-sectional differentiation between dementia-free and dementia patients yielded moderate to good results for MMSE and SMMSE scores. With regard to most diagnostic accuracy parameters, SMMSE scores did not outperform the MMSE scores. The current study provides first evidence regarding the psychometric properties of the SMMSE score in a sample of older primary care patients. However, our findings do not confirm previous findings that the SMMSE is a more accurate screening instrument for dementia than the original MMSE. Further studies are needed in order to assess and to develop short, reliable and valid instruments for routine cognitive screening in clinical practice and primary care settings. (PsycINFO Database Record
(c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a risk factor of dementia. The effect of T2DM treatment quality on dementia risk, however, is unclear. 1,342 elderly individuals recruited via general practitioner registries (AgeCoDe cohort) were analyzed. This study analyzed the association between HbA1c level and the incidence of all-cause dementia (ACD) and of Alzheimer's disease dementia (referred to here as AD). HbA1c levels ≥6.5% were associated with 2.8-fold increased risk of incident ACD (p = 0.027) and for AD (p = 0.047). HbA1c levels ≥7% were associated with a five-fold increased risk of incident ACD (p = 0.001) and 4.7-fold increased risk of incident AD (p = 0.004). The T2DM diagnosis per se did not increase the risk of either ACD or AD. Higher levels of HbA1c are associated with increased risk of ACD and AD in an elderly population. T2DM diagnosis was not associated with increased risk if HbA1c levels were below 7%.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Drugs that modify the risk of dementia in the elderly are of potential interest for dementia prevention. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are widely used to reduce gastric acid production, but information on the risk of dementia is lacking. We assessed association between the use of PPIs and the risk of dementia in elderly people. Data were derived from a longitudinal, multicenter cohort study in elderly primary care patients, the German Study on Aging, Cognition and Dementia in Primary Care Patients (AgeCoDe), including 3,327 community-dwelling persons aged ≥75 years. From follow-up 1 to follow-up 4 (follow-up interval 18 months), we identified a total of 431 patients with incident any dementia, including 260 patients with Alzheimer's disease. We used time-dependent Cox regression to estimate hazard ratios of incident any dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Potential confounders included in the analysis comprised age, sex, education, the Apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4) allele status, polypharmacy, and the comorbidities depression, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, and stroke. Patients receiving PPI medication had a significantly increased risk of any dementia [Hazard ratio (HR) 1.38, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.04-1.83] and Alzheimer's disease (HR 1.44, 95 % CI 1.01-2.06) compared with nonusers. Due to the major burden of dementia on public health and the lack of curative medication, this finding is of high interest to research on dementia and provides indication for dementia prevention.
European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 10/2014; 265(5). DOI:10.1007/s00406-014-0554-0 · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The objective of the study was to compare General Practitioners׳ (GPs) diagnosis of depression and depression diagnosis according to Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and to identify potential factors associated with both depression diagnosis methods.
The data were derived from the baseline wave of the German MultiCare1 study, which is a multicentre, prospective, observational cohort study of 3177 multimorbid patients aged 65+ randomly selected from 158 GP practices. Data were collected in GP interviews and comprehensive patient interviews. Depressive symptoms were assessed with a short version of the Geriatric Depression Scale (15 items, cut-off 6). Cohen׳s kappa was used to assess agreement of GP and GDS diagnoses. To identify factors that might have influenced GP and GDS diagnoses of depression, binary logistic regression analyses were performed.
Depressive symptoms according to GDS were diagnosed in 12.6% of the multimorbid subjects, while 17.8% of the patients received a depression diagnosis by their GP. The agreement between general practitioners and GDS diagnosis was poor. To summarize we find that GPs and the GDS have different perspectives on depression. To GPs somatic and psychological comorbid conditions carry weight when diagnosing depression, while cognitive impairment in form of low verbal fluency, pain and comorbid somatic conditions are relevant for a depression diagnosis by GDS.
Each depression diagnosing method is influenced by different variables and therefore, has advantages and limitations. Possibly, the application of both, GP and GDS diagnoses of depression, could provide valuable support in combining the different perspectives of depression and contribute to a comprehensive view on multimorbid elderly in primary care setting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The impact of self-efficacy on pain-related disability in multimorbid elderly patients in primary care is not known. The aim of our study was to analyze the influence of self-efficacy on the relation between pain intensity and pain-related disability, controlled for age and disease count, in aged multimorbid primary care patients with osteoarthritis and chronic pain. Patients were recruited in the German MultiCare study (trial registration: ISRCTN89818205). Pain was assessed using the Graded Chronic Pain Scale, and self-efficacy using the General Self-Efficacy Scale. We employed SPSS for statistical analysis. One thousand eighteen primary care patients were included in the study. Correlation analyses showed significant correlations between pain intensity and pain-related disability (r = 0.591, p < 0.001), pain intensity and general self-efficacy (r = 0.078, p < 0.05), and between general self-efficacy and pain-related disability (r = 0.153, p < 0.001). Multiple mediator analysis gives indications that self-efficacy partially mediates the relation between pain intensity and pain-related disability. In our results, we found little evidence that self-efficacy partially mediates the relation between pain intensity and pain-related disability in aged multimorbid primary care patients with osteoarthritis and chronic pain. Further research is necessary to prove the effect.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Social relations and depressive symptoms are intertwined. They both predict subsequent dementia, but only few studies on the association between social life aspects and subsequent dementia exist.
The risk of subsequent dementia was estimated over 2 follow-up assessments, each 18 months apart, depending on leisure activity, social support (general scale and the 3 factors emotional support, practical support, and social integration), and depressive symptoms, using proportional hazard models in a cohort of elderly patients (n = 2,300, with a mean age of 82.45 years) recruited for the study by their general practitioners.
Higher depressive symptoms and lower cognitive and physical activity were associated with an increased risk of subsequent all-cause dementia and Alzheimer's dementia (AD). While neither social engagement nor the general social support scale was associated with subsequent dementia, a higher level of social integration was associated with a lower dementia risk. In combined models, the results for activity variables remained similar, but the strength of the association between depressive symptoms and the subsequent risk of dementia decreased, and the association with social integration disappeared.
Depressive symptoms increased and activity variables decreased the risk of subsequent dementia; however, activity variables, namely cognitive and physical activity, partly mediated the effect of depressive symptoms on the subsequent risk of all-cause dementia and AD. In many cases, social support was not associated with a risk of subsequent dementia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: A phase of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) precedes most forms of neurodegenerative dementia. Many definitions of MCI recommend the use of test norms to diagnose cognitive impairment. It is, however, unclear whether the use of norms actually improves the detection of individuals at risk of dementia. Therefore, the effects of age- and education- norms on the validity of test scores in predicting progression to dementia were investigated.
Methods: Baseline cognitive test scores (Syndrome Short Test) of dementia-free participants aged $65 were used to predict progression to dementia within three years. Participants were comprehensively examined one, two, and three years after baseline. Test scores were calculated with correction for (1) age and education, (2) education only, (3) age only and (4) without correction. Predictive validity was estimated with Cox proportional hazard regressions. Areas under the curve (AUCs) were calculated for the one-, two-, and three-year intervals.
Results: 82 (15.3%) of initially 537 participants, developed dementia. Model coefficients, hazard ratios, and AUCs of all scores were significant (p,0.001). Predictive validity was the lowest with age-corrected scores (22 log likelihood = 840.90, model fit x2 (1) =144.27, HR =1.33, AUCs between 0.73 and 0.87) and the highest with education-corrected scores (22 log likelihood = 815.80, model fit x2 (1) = 171.16, HR = 1.34, AUCs between 0.85 and 0.88).
Conclusion: The predictive validity of test scores is markedly reduced by age-correction. Therefore, definitions of MCI should not recommend the use of age-norms in order to improve the detection of individuals at risk of dementia.
PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e106284. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0106284 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In primary care, patients with multiple chronic conditions are the rule rather than the exception. The Chronic Care Model (CCM) is an evidence-based framework for improving chronic illness care, but little is known about the extent to which it has been implemented in routine primary care. The aim of this study was to describe how multimorbid older patients assess the routine chronic care they receive in primary care practices in Germany, and to explore the extent to which factors at both the practice and patient level determine their views.
This cross-sectional study used baseline data from an observational cohort study involving 158 general practitioners (GP) and 3189 multimorbid patients. Standardized questionnaires were employed to collect data, and the Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (PACIC) questionnaire used to assess the quality of care received. Multilevel hierarchical modeling was used to identify any existing association between the dependent variable, PACIC, and independent variables at the patient level (socio-economic factors, weighted count of chronic conditions, instrumental activities of daily living, health-related quality of life, graded chronic pain, no. of contacts with GP, existence of a disease management program (DMP) disease, self-efficacy, and social support) and the practice level (age and sex of GP, years in current practice, size and type of practice).
The overall mean PACIC score was 2.4 (SD 0.8), with the mean subscale scores ranging from 2.0 (SD 1.0, subscale goal setting/tailoring) to 3.5 (SD 0.7, delivery system design). At the patient level, higher PACIC scores were associated with a DMP disease, more frequent GP contacts, higher social support, and higher autonomy of past occupation. At the practice level, solo practices were associated with higher PACIC values than other types of practice.
This study shows that from the perspective of multimorbid patients receiving care in German primary care practices, the implementation of structured care and counseling could be improved, particularly by helping patients set specific goals, coordinating care, and arranging follow-up contacts. Studies evaluating chronic care should take into consideration that a patient’s assessment is associated not only with practice-level factors, but also with individual, patient-level factors.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN89818205.
BMC Health Services Research 08/2014; 14(1):336. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-14-336 · 1.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Obesity and the accompanying increased morbidity and mortality risk is highly prevalent among older adults. As obese elderly might benefit from intentional weight reduction, it is necessary to determine associated and potentially modifiable factors on senior obesity. This cross-sectional study focuses on multi-morbid patients which make up the majority in primary care. It reports on the prevalence of senior obesity and its associations with lifestyle behaviors.
A total of 3,189 non-demented, multi-morbid participants aged 65–85 years were recruited in primary care within the German MultiCare-study. Physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and quantity and quality of nutritional intake were classified as relevant lifestyle factors. Body Mass Index (BMI, general obesity) and waist circumference (WC, abdominal obesity) were used as outcome measures and regression analyses were conducted.
About one third of all patients were classified as obese according to BMI. The prevalence of abdominal obesity was 73.5%. Adjusted for socio-demographic variables and objective and subjective disease burden, participants with low physical activity had a 1.6 kg/m2 higher BMI as well as a higher WC (4.9 cm, p<0.001). Current smoking and high alcohol consumption were associated with a lower BMI and WC. In multivariate logistic regression, using elevated WC and BMI as categorical outcomes, the same pattern in lifestyle factors was observed. Only for WC, not current but former smoking was associated with a higher probability for elevated WC. Dietary intake in quantity and quality was not associated with BMI or WC in either model.
Further research is needed to clarify if the huge prevalence discrepancy between BMI and WC also reflects a difference in obesity-related morbidity and mortality. Yet, age-specific thresholds for the BMI are needed likewise. Encouraging and promoting physical activity in older adults might a starting point for weight reduction efforts.
PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e102587. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0102587 · 3.23 Impact Factor