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Depressive symptoms in elderly people are associated with an increased risk of developing mild cognitive impairment independently of vascular disease

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Q Are depressive symptoms and vascular disease associated with the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment in elderly people?


Embedded ImageDesign:

Population based longitudinal cohort study.

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

Six years.

Embedded ImageSetting:

Four US communities in North Carolina, Maryland, California, and Pennsylvania; enrolment 1989–90 and 1992–93.

Embedded ImagePeople:

2220 community dwelling adults aged over 65 years. Exclusions: dementia (increasing or stable deficit in at least two cognitive domains, which affected activities of daily living (ADLs), in people with previously normal function) at baseline or final follow up; mild cognitive impairment (Modified Mini-Mental State Examination (3MS) score <90) at 1992–93 testing; receiving any major medical treatment or care, or wheelchair bound.

Embedded ImageRisk factors:

Depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale; maximum score  = 30; no depressive symptoms  = 0–2; …

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  • For correspondence: Deborah E Barnes, PhD, MPH, Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA; barnes{at}

  • Sources of funding: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, USA; National Institute for Aging; national Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression.