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AGE WITH HEALTH: Mental and Physical Health and Well-Being. A longitudinal study of the Spanish population.
Background: Data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic suggest an increase in major depressive disorder (MDD) among younger adults. The current study aims to assess the association of age groups and MDD risk before and during the COVID-19 pandemic and quantify the effect of potential mediating variables such as loneliness, social support, resilience, and socioeconomic factors. Methods: A representative sample of Spanish adults was interviewed before (2019, N = 1880) and during (2020, N = 1103) the COVID-19 pandemic. MDD was assessed using the CIDI, loneliness through the UCLA scale, social support through the OSSS-3, resilience with the 6-BRS, and worsened economic circumstances and unemployment through a single question. Mixed-models were used to study changes in MDD by age group. Regression models were constructed to quantify the association between age and potential mediators, as well as their mediating effect on the association between age group and MDD. Results: Among the younger age cohorts (18-29 and 30-44 years) the probability of having MDD during the pandemic increased from 0.04 (95 % CI: 0.002-0.09) to 0.25 (0.12-0.39) and from 0.02 (-0.001-0.03) to 0.11 (0.04-0.17), respectively. Some 36.6 % of the association between age and risk of MDD during the pandemic was explained by loneliness (12.0 %), low resilience (10.7 %), and worsened economic situation (13.9 %). Limitations: Reliance on self-report data and generalizability of the findings limited to the Spanish population. Conclusions: Strategies to decrease the impact of a pandemic on depressive symptoms among young adults should address loneliness, provide tools to improve resilience, and enjoy improved financial support.
• The Ageing and Health study was set up to examine longitudinal ageing trajectories of health-related outcomes and their key time-invariant and/or time-varying determinants among the Spanish population. • This is an ongoing large-scale study combining a longitudinal cohort (2011 cohort) from three waves (2011, 2014–2015 and 2018) and a refreshment sample (2019 cohort) that includes a follow-up study conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. • The 2011 cohort comprised 4753 participants (2151 men and 2602 women) aged 18 years at the baseline survey whereas the 2019 cohort, whose data collection took place between 2019 and 2021, included 3002 respondents (1302 men and 1700 women). A total of 4579 individuals from both cohorts are currently involved in the study. • The survey protocol includes questionnaires, a standardized physical examination and a neuropsychological test battery assessment covering contents related to physical and mental health, risk factors and preventive health behaviours, subjective wellbeing, social participation and work history, among others. • Data are not publicly available but proposals from external researchers are welcomed via request to José Luis Ayuso-Mateos or Josep Maria Haro (e-mail: email@example.com).
Background Previous research indicates that social support, loneliness, and major depressive disorder (MDD) are interrelated. Little is known about the potential pathways among these factors, in particular in the case of adults aged 50 years and older and suffering from MDD. The objective was to investigate whether loneliness mediates the association between low social support and recurrent episodes of MDD. Methods We used data from a cohort of the Spanish general population interviewed at three time‐points over a 7‐year period. We included 404 individuals aged 50+ suffering from MDD in the baseline assessment. A 12‐month major depressive episode was assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) at each interview. The University of California, Los Angeles Loneliness Scale was used to measure loneliness, whereas social support was assessed through the Oslo Social Support Scale. We tested cross‐lagged and autoregressive longitudinal associations using structural equation modeling. Results We identified two significant longitudinal mediation patterns: lower social support predicted higher subsequent levels of loneliness (Coef. = −0.16; p < .05), which in turn predicted an increase in MDD recurrence (Coef. = 0.05; p < .05). Conclusions Interventions focused on promoting social support among older adults suffering from MDD may decrease feelings of loneliness and prevent recurrent episodes of MDD.
Objectives: We compared the trajectory of activities of daily living (ADL) in a nationally representative sample of older Nigerians with their Spanish peers and identified factors to explain country-specific growth models. Methods: Data from two household multistage probability samples were used, comprising older adults from Spain (n=2,011) and Nigeria (n=1,704). All participants underwent assessment for ADL. Risk factors including sex, household income, urbanicity, years of education, depression, alcohol consumption and smoking were assessed using validated methods. State-space model in continuous time (SSM-CT) methods were used for trajectory comparison. Results: Compared with Nigerians (µADL80=0.44, SE=0.015, p<0.001), Spanish older adults had higher disability scores (µADL80=1.23, SE=0.021, p<0.001). In SSM-CT models, the rate of increase in disability was faster in Nigerians (Nigeria: β=0.061, p<.01; Spain: β=0.028, p<0.010). An increasing course of disability in the Spanish sample was predicted by female sex, lower education and depression diagnosis. Conclusion: The rate of increase in disability was faster in older Nigerians living in an economically disadvantaged context.
Background This study sought to determine the association between levels of physical activity and mobility difficulties and time to death while accounting for the effect of several confounders. We also examined the possible interaction between them and how various daily-life mobility difficulties could predict all-cause mortality. Methods A nationally-representative sample of 2,074 non-institutionalized adults aged 60 years and older was analyzed. Vital status over a 3-year follow-up period was ascertained through national registers or by asking participants’ relatives. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were stratified by levels of physical activity and mobility difficulties. Unadjusted and adjusted cox proportional hazard regression models (by age, gender, marital status, years of education, multimorbidity, tobacco and alcohol consumption, depression, and memory function) were calculated and interactions between the predictors and the covariates explored. Results There was a dose-gradient effect of physical activity on time to death, with high levels associated with a 51% lower risk of dying, compared with moderate physical activity. Each unit increase in mobility functioning was associated with a 2% drop in mortality. Difficulties in standing for long periods, getting where one wants to go or extending arms to reach objects were also found to be strong predictors of all-cause mortality. Conclusions Our results confirm the importance of older adults practicing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. The assessment of self-reported difficulties in daily-life mobility activities, such as standing for long periods or not being able to move around, could be used in health settings as a screening for mortality risk.
PurposeThe aim of this paper was to analyze the effect of biomedical and psychosocial well-being, based on distinct successful aging models (SA), on time to mortality, and determine whether this effect was modified by socioeconomic status (SES) in a nationally representative sample of older Spanish adults. Methods Data were taken from a 3-year follow-up study with 2783 participants aged 50 or over. Vital status was ascertained using national registers or asking participants’ relatives. Kaplan–Meier curves were used to estimate the time to death by SES, and levels of biomedical and psychosocial SA. Cox proportional hazard regression models were conducted to explore interactions between SES and SA models while adjusting for gender, age, and marital status. ResultsLower levels of SES and biomedical and psychosocial SA were associated with low probability of survival. Only the interaction between SES and biomedical SA was significant. Biomedical SA impacted on mortality rates among individuals with low SES but not on those with medium or high SES, whereas psychosocial SA affected mortality regardless of SES. Conclusions Promoting equal access to health care system and improved psychosocial well-being could be a protective factor against premature mortality in older Spanish adults with low SES.
Background: Socioeconomic status, as measured by education, occupation or income, is associated with depression. However, data are lacking on the psychosocial, material and behavioral mediators of these associations. We have examined the association of education, occupation and income with depression and the potential mediations using community-based data. Methods: A total of 7,966 older adults were interviewed in Finland, Poland and Spain. The differential associations between depression and SES, mediator variables, country of residence and cofounder variables, such as chronic physical conditions, were assessed through logistic regression models. Meditation analyses were carried out using khb method for Stata 13.1. Results: Education, followed by household income, were the SES indicators most frequently significantly associated with depression. These SES markers, but not occupation, showed an independent effect in this association. Psychosocial factors and loneliness in particular showed the strongest associations with depression among mediator variables. However, material factors and, especially, financial strain had a higher mediating function in the association between SES and depression. Overall, SES markers, chronic conditions and mediation factors were more positive in Finland than in Poland and Spain. Conclusion: Improving psychosocial and material dimensions as well as access to the educational system for older adults might result in a reduction in the prevalence of depression in the general population and particularly among individuals with low SES.
PurposeLoneliness and depression are associated, in particular in older adults. Less is known about the role of social networks in this relationship. The present study analyzes the influence of social networks in the relationship between loneliness and depression in the older adult population in Spain. MethodsA population-representative sample of 3535 adults aged 50 years and over from Spain was analyzed. Loneliness was assessed by means of the three-item UCLA Loneliness Scale. Social network characteristics were measured using the Berkman–Syme Social Network Index. Major depression in the previous 12 months was assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Logistic regression models were used to analyze the survey data. ResultsFeelings of loneliness were more prevalent in women, those who were younger (50–65), single, separated, divorced or widowed, living in a rural setting, with a lower frequency of social interactions and smaller social network, and with major depression. Among people feeling lonely, those with depression were more frequently married and had a small social network. Among those not feeling lonely, depression was associated with being previously married. In depressed people, feelings of loneliness were associated with having a small social network; while among those without depression, feelings of loneliness were associated with being married. Conclusion The type and size of social networks have a role in the relationship between loneliness and depression. Increasing social interaction may be more beneficial than strategies based on improving maladaptive social cognition in loneliness to reduce the prevalence of depression among Spanish older adults.
Background In the context of population aging, visual impairment has emerged as a growing concern in public health. However, there is a need for further research into the relationship between visual impairment and chronic medical conditions in the elderly. The aim of our study was to examine the relationship between visual impairment and three main types of co-morbidity: chronic physical conditions (both at an independent and additive level), mental health and cognitive functioning. Methods Data were collected from the COURAGE in Europe project, a cross-sectional study. A total of 4,583 participants from Spain were included. Diagnosis of chronic medical conditions included self-reported medical diagnosis and symptomatic algorithms. Depression and anxiety were assessed using CIDI algorithms. Visual assessment included objective distance/near visual acuity and subjective visual performance. Descriptive analyses included the whole sample (n = 4,583). Statistical analyses included participants aged over 50 years (n = 3,625; mean age = 66.45 years) since they have a significant prevalence of chronic conditions and visual impairment. Crude and adjusted binary logistic regressions were performed to identify independent associations between visual impairment and chronic medical conditions, physical multimorbidity and mental conditions. Covariates included age, gender, marital status, education level, employment status and urbanicity. Results The number of chronic physical conditions was found to be associated with poorer results in both distance and near visual acuity [OR 1.75 (CI 1.38-2.23); OR 1.69 (CI 1.27-2.24)]. At an independent level, arthritis, stroke and diabetes were associated with poorer distance visual acuity results after adjusting for covariates [OR 1.79 (CI 1.46-2.21); OR 1.59 (CI 1.05-2.42); OR 1.27 (1.01-1.60)]. Only stroke was associated with near visual impairment [OR 3.01 (CI 1.86-4.87)]. With regard to mental health, poor subjective visual acuity was associated with depression [OR 1.61 (CI 1.14-2.27); OR 1.48 (CI 1.03-2.13)]. Both objective and subjective poor distance and near visual acuity were associated with worse cognitive functioning. Conclusions Arthritis, stroke and the co-occurrence of various chronic physical diseases are associated with higher prevalence of visual impairment. Visual impairment is associated with higher prevalence of depression and poorer cognitive function results. There is a need to implement patient-centered care involving special visual assessment in these cases.
Objectives: To determine whether the effect of multimorbidity on time to mortality is modified by level of social support and loneliness in a representative sample of 2113 participants aged 60+. Methods: Vital status was ascertained through national registers or by asking participants' relatives. Baseline variables included number of illnesses, self-perceived social support (Oslo social support scale) and loneliness (UCLA loneliness scale). Kaplan-Meier survival curves were used to estimate the time to death by multimorbidity, social support and loneliness. Adjusted cox proportional hazards regression models were conducted to explore interactions between multimorbidity and social support and loneliness. Results: Multimorbidity was associated with low probability of survival, whereas high loneliness and low social support were not related with time to death. Only the interaction multimorbidity∗social support was significant. Participants with low social support and 2 chronic diseases, compared with none, presented lower probability of survival (HR=2.43, 95%CI=1.14-5.18, p<0.05), whereas the effect of multimorbidity, in comparison with not having chronic conditions, did not affect mortality if participants had high social support. For participants with low social support, there were no differences between having one, two or more than two diseases. When there is high social support, the probability of death is significantly lower if one or two chronic diseases are present, compared with more than two. Discussion: These findings indicate that having a supportive social environment increases the survival of people with physical illnesses, especially those with one or two. For those with more than two illnesses, survival remains unchanged regardless of the level of social support and other protective factors should be explored in future research. Geriatric health professionals are encouraged to evaluate social relationships and stimulate support given by relatives, friends or neighbors.
Subjective wellbeing (SWB) is a core component of healthy aging to be promoted among older adults. This study aims to analyze whether there are subgroups with different trajectories in the main components of SWB (i.e. positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction) within the older population, and identify potential determinants of these heterogeneous trajectories. We analyzed data on 1,189 Spanish older adults aged 50 +, collected as part of a nationwide representative longitudinal survey. We used a growth mixture modeling approach to identify heterogeneous trajectories within each SWB component, and logistic and multinomial regressions to explore the associated determinants. In addition to a predominant trajectory with above neutral, relatively stable scores on each SWB outcome , we found an additional trajectory with worse scores throughout all older adulthood for all SWB components, alongside a trajectory with a better life satisfaction. Depression, loneliness, disability, income, education, marital status, physical activity, and occupational status were found to be significant determinants of the membership to different trajectories. Our results suggest that there is no unitary trajectory of SWB in the older population regarding any of its components. Moreover, they point at the appropriateness of programs aimed at promoting or counteracting the aspects that may respectively prevent or facilitate pertaining to the trajectories with worst long-term outcomes as an effective way of enhancing healthy aging.
Objectives: People who report better subjective well-being tend to be healthier in their daily behaviours. The objective of this study is to assess whether different components of subjective well-being are prospectively associated with different healthy lifestyle behaviours and to assess whether these associations differ by age. Method: A total of 1,892 participants aged 50+ living in Spain were interviewed in 2011–12 and 2014–15. Life satisfaction was measured with the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale. Positive and negative affect were assessed using the Day Reconstruction Method. Physical activity was assessed with the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire version 2. The remaining healthy lifestyle behaviours were self-reported. Generalised Estimating Equations (GEE) models were run. Results: Not having a heavy episodic alcohol drinking was the healthy lifestyle behaviour most fulfilled (97.97%), whereas the intake of five or more fruits and vegetables was the least followed (33.12%). GEE models conducted over the 50–64 and the 65+ age groups showed that a higher life satisfaction was significantly related to a higher physical activity in both groups. Relationships between a higher negative affect and presenting a lower level of physical activity, and a higher positive affect and following the right consumption of fruits and vegetables and being a non-daily smoker, were only found in the older group. Conclusion: The relationship between subjective well-being and healthy lifestyle behaviours was found fundamentally in those aged 65+ years. Interventions focused on incrementing subjective well-being would have an impact on keeping a healthy lifestyle and, therefore, on reducing morbidity and mortality.
Objective: Although there is some evidence of the association between specific food groups, such as plant foods, and subjective wellbeing, this is the first study to assess the relationship between adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern and subjective wellbeing. Design: Data were collected in 2014-2015, within the Edad con Salud project, a follow-up study of a multistage clustered survey on a representative sample of the population of Spain. The final sample comprised 2397 individuals with ages ranging from 21 to 101 years. Main outcome measures: Experienced wellbeing (positive and negative affect) was measured using the Day Reconstruction Method, and evaluative wellbeing was assessed with the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale. Results: A higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet showed a small but statistically significant inverse relationship with negative affect (β = -0.076, p=.001), and direct with evaluative wellbeing (β = 0.053, p=.015), whereas it was not related to positive affect. Several components of the Mediterranean diet were independently associated with wellbeing. Conclusion: The results suggest that adherence to a dietary pattern such as the Mediterranean diet, and not only the isolated consumption of its components, is associated with a better subjective wellbeing.
Introduction Loneliness has social and health implications. The aim of this article is to evaluate the association of loneliness with all-cause mortality. Methods Pubmed, PsycINFO, CINAHL and Scopus databases were searched through June 2016 for published articles that measured loneliness and mortality. The main characteristics and the effect size values of each article were extracted. Moreover, an evaluation of the quality of the articles included was also carried out. A meta-analysis was performed firstly with all the included articles and secondly separating by gender, using a random effects model. Results A total of 35 articles involving 77220 participants were included in the systematic review. Loneliness is a risk factor for all-cause mortality [pooled HR = 1.22, 95% CI = (1.10, 1.35), p < 0.001] for both genders together, and for women [pooled HR = 1.26, 95% CI = (1.07, 1.48); p = 0.005] and men [pooled HR = 1.44; 95% CI = (1.19, 1.76); p < 0.001] separately. Conclusions Loneliness shows a harmful effect for all-cause mortality and this effect is slightly stronger in men than in women. Moreover, the impact of loneliness was independent from the quality evaluation of each article and the effect of depression.
The aims of this study were to analyze whether positive and negative affect, social support, and loneliness are factors longitudinally related to suicide ideation in the general population in different age groups. A total of 2,392 individuals from a nationally representative sample of the Spanish general population were evaluated in 2011-2012 and in 2014-2015. After including relevant control variables in the analyses, lower positive affect was prospectively related to ideation in 18- to 59-year-old individuals, whereas feelings of loneliness were related to ideation in 60-year-and-older individuals. Social support was not associated with suicide ideation in any age group. These results are in line with the need for age-tailored suicide prevention programs. The present findings might also suggest that health care professionals should consider feelings of loneliness rather than social support to assess the presence of suicide ideation in older people.
Objective: Successful aging (SA) refers to maintaining well-being in old age. Several definitions or models of SA exist (biomedical, psychosocial, and mixed). We examined the longitudinal association between various SA models and sociodemographic factors, and analyzed the patterns of change within these models. Method: This was a nationally representative follow-up in Spain including 3,625 individuals aged ≥50 years. Some 1,970 individuals were interviewed after 3 years. Linear regression models were used to analyze the survey data. Results: Age, sex, and occupation predicted SA in the biomedical model, while marital status, educational level, and urbanicity predicted SA in the psychosocial model. The remaining models included different sets of these predictors as significant. In the psychosocial model, individuals tended to improve over time but this was not the case in the biomedical model. Conclusion: The biomedical and psychosocial components of SA need to be addressed specifically to achieve the best aging trajectories.
Objectives: To assess the association between cognitive reserve (CR) and quality of life (QoL), as well as the role of depression, cognitive functioning, and disability in this association. Methods: Nationally-representative cross-sectional population-based data on 1973 individuals aged ≥50years from the Spanish sample of the Collaborative Research on Ageing in Europe (COURAGE) study were analysed. CR was a composite score ranging from 0 to 25 obtained from the Cognitive Reserve Questionnaire, which is composed of items on training courses, occupation, musical training, languages, reading activities, intellectual games, and level of education of the participants and their parents. QoL, ranging from 0 to 100, was assessed with the WHOQOL-AGE. Multiple linear regression and mediation analyses were performed. Results: Higher levels of CR were associated with higher QoL, after controlling for potential confounders (Coef. 0.53; 95% CI=0.36, 0.70). The strongest mediator in this association was disability, which explained about half of the association, while depression and cognition explained 6-10% of this association. Discussion: CR is associated with higher QoL in older adults. Interventions targeting determinants of CR that can be modified or trained across the lifespan may lead to successful ageing by prolonging autonomous functioning and enhancing QoL.
Background/aims: In the absence of effective treatments for dementia, major efforts are being directed towards identifying the risk factors of the prodromal phase of the disease. We report the incidence rates of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in a Spanish population sample and assess the effect of depression at baseline on incident MCI (or MCI subtypes) at a 3-year follow-up. Methods: A total of 1,642 participants (age ≥50 years) were examined as part of a Spanish nationally representative longitudinal study. MCI was defined as the presence of cognitive concerns, objective evidence of impairment in one or more cognitive domains, preservation of independence in functional abilities, and no dementia. Depression was assessed through an adaptation of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI 3.0). Binary and multinomial logistic regression analyses were carried out to assess the associations. Results: The overall MCI incidence rate was 33.19 (95% CI = 26.02, 43.04) per 1,000 person-years. Depression at baseline predicted the onset of MCI at follow-up after controlling for sociodemographics, cognitive functioning, and other physical health conditions (OR = 2.79; 95% CI = 1.70, 4.59). The effect of baseline depression on incident MCI subtypes was as follows: amnestic MCI, OR = 3.81 (95% CI = 1.96, 7.43); nonamnestic MCI, OR = 2.03 (95% CI = 0.98, 4.21). Conclusion: Depression significantly increases the risk for MCI. Targeting depression among those at risk for dementia may help delay or even prevent the onset of dementia.
Objective: Given the limitations of treatments for dementia, the characterisation of the early stages of dementia is crucial for the development of preventive programmes and interventions. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and examine its medical and lifestyle correlates in a nationally representative sample of the Spanish population. Methods: A total of 3625 participants (≥50 years of age) were interviewed in a cross-sectional study. MCI was defined as the presence of cognitive concerns, the objective evidence of impairment in one or more cognitive domains, the preservation of independence in functional abilities and no dementia. Participants were also asked to provide sociodemographic, health status and lifestyle information. Logistic regression analyses were performed using the overall sample and by age groups. Results: The overall prevalence of MCI was 9.6%, with higher rates in older people and women. In the overall model, after adjustment for potential confounders, depression [odds ratio (OR) = 1.79; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.21, 2.66], diabetes (OR = 1.43; 95% CI = 1.05, 1.95), sleep disturbances (OR = 1.66; 95% CI = 1.09, 2.55) and low level of physical activity (OR = 1.71; 95% CI = 1.26, 2.31) were associated with significantly higher odds for MCI. When stratified by age groups, depression (OR = 2.41; 95% CI = 1.35, 4.31), stroke (OR = 3.77; 95% CI = 1.44, 9.83) and obesity (OR = 2.06; 95% CI = 1.20, 3.53) were significantly associated with MCI in middle-aged participants (50-64 years), whereas low level of physical activity (OR = 1.85; 95% CI = 1.32, 2.59) and sleep disturbances (OR = 1.79; 95% CI = 1.05, 3.05) were associated with MCI in individuals aged 65+ years. Conclusions: Significant associations between MCI and psychological, cardiovascular and lifestyle factors were found. Targeting modifiable risk factors might reduce the risk for MCI and subsequent dementia.