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Depression in older people is associated with increased risk of developing dementia

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Is depression associated with an increased risk of dementia in older people?


949 older adults (average age 79 years; 63.6% women), from the Framingham Heart Study, who did not have dementia at the start of the current study.


Framingham, Massachusetts, USA; 1990–2008.

Prognostic factors

Depression (score ≥16 on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D); supplementary analyses also included people taking antidepressants). Analyses were adjusted for age, gender, education, homocysteine levels and APOE ε4 genotype.


Dementia. Participants were assessed using the mini-mental state examination (MMSE) in every biennial examination to screen for possible dementia. Participants whose MMSE score fell below age- and education-adjusted cut-offs underwent neurological and neuropsychological testing. Participants classified as having dementia satisfied DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition) criteria, had dementia severity ≥1.0 on the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale and exhibited symptoms of dementia for at least 6 months. Alzheimer's disease (AD) was confirmed using criteria of the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders …

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  • Sources of funding The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.


  • Competing interests None.

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