Family history of dementia and current depression in nondemented community-dwelling older adults

D. G. Harwood, W. W. Barker, R. L. Ownby, M. J. Mullan, R. Duara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since it has been postulated that mood disturbance in nondemented older adults may represent a prodromal feature of dementia for a subgroup of patients, it would be expected that patients with these symptoms would evidence a greater prevalence of family history of dementia. In a sample of 3225 community-dwelling cognitively intact elderly recruited from a free memory-screening program, we found that current depression was more common in participants with a positive versus a negative family history of dementia in first-degree relatives (17% versus 11%; Fisher's Exact Test, P < .0001). This relationship remained significant after controlling for age, education, gender, ethnicity, and Folstein Mini-Mental State Examination score (OR = 1.5; 95% CI = 1.2-1.9, Wald χ2 = 15.5, P < .001). The results suggest that symptoms of depression may herald the onset of an incipient dementia syndrome in a subset of geriatric patients. Alternatively, the results may be indicative of familial aggregation of dementia and depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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