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Cortisol levels among older people with and without depression and dementia

  • Maria Lage Barca (a1) (a2), Rannveig S. Eldholm (a3) (a4), Karin Persson (a1) (a2), Guro Hanevold Bjørkløf (a1), Tom Borza (a5), Elisabeth Telenius (a1), Anne-Brita Knapskog (a2), Anne Brækhus (a1) (a2), Ingvild Saltvedt (a3) (a4), Geir Selbæk (a1) and Knut Engedal (a1)...

Abstract

Cortisol dysregulation has been reported in dementia and depression. Cortisol levels and its associates were investigated among older people living at home and in nursing homes, in a cross-sectional study. A sample of 650 older people, from the community (home and nursing homes) and specialized care (memory clinics and old age psychiatry wards), mean age 76.8 (SD = 10.3) (dementia n = 319, depression, n = 154, dementia plus depression n = 53, and reference group n = 124), was included. Assessment included the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), Cornell scale for depression in dementia, activities of daily living scales, and salivary cortisol. Number of drugs was registered. The results showed that the cortisol ratio was highest among patients with dementia and co-morbid depression in comparison to those with either depression or dementia and the reference group. Characteristics significantly associated with cortisol levels were higher MMSE score (in patients with dementia and co-morbid depression), male gender (in people with dementia), and number of medications (in the reference group). We conclude that the cortisol ratio was highest among patients with dementia and co-morbid depression in comparison to those with either depression or dementia and the reference group. The association of cortisol level with MMSE score among patients with dementia and depression could further indicate that increased stress is related to cognitive function.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Maria Lage Barca, Norwegian Advisory Unit for Ageing and Health, Postbox 2136, 3103 Tønsberg, Norway; Phone: (+47) 9743-6610. Email: maria.barca@aldringoghelse.no.

References

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Keywords

Cortisol levels among older people with and without depression and dementia

  • Maria Lage Barca (a1) (a2), Rannveig S. Eldholm (a3) (a4), Karin Persson (a1) (a2), Guro Hanevold Bjørkløf (a1), Tom Borza (a5), Elisabeth Telenius (a1), Anne-Brita Knapskog (a2), Anne Brækhus (a1) (a2), Ingvild Saltvedt (a3) (a4), Geir Selbæk (a1) and Knut Engedal (a1)...

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