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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has serious physiological and psychological consequences. The long-term (>12 weeks post-infection) impact of COVID-19 on mental health, specifically in older adults, is unclear. We longitudinally assessed the association of COVID-19 with depression symptomatology in community-dwelling older adults with metabolic syndrome within the framework of the PREDIMED-Plus cohort.
Participants (n = 5486) aged 55–75 years were included in this longitudinal cohort. COVID-19 status (positive/negative) determined by tests (e.g. polymerase chain reaction severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, IgG) was confirmed via event adjudication (410 cases). Pre- and post-COVID-19 depressive symptomatology was ascertained from annual assessments conducted using a validated 21-item Spanish Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). Multivariable linear and logistic regression models assessed the association between COVID-19 and depression symptomatology.
COVID-19 in older adults was associated with higher post-COVID-19 BDI-II scores measured at a median (interquartile range) of 29 (15–40) weeks post-infection [fully adjusted β = 0.65 points, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.15–1.15; p = 0.011]. This association was particularly prominent in women (β = 1.38 points, 95% CI 0.44–2.33, p = 0.004). COVID-19 was associated with 62% increased odds of elevated depression risk (BDI-II ≥ 14) post-COVID-19 when adjusted for confounders (odds ratio; 95% CI 1.13–2.30, p = 0.008).
COVID-19 was associated with long-term depression risk in older adults with overweight/obesity and metabolic syndrome, particularly in women. Thus, long-term evaluations of the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and preventive public health initiatives are warranted in older adults.
The burden of depression is increasing worldwide, specifically in older adults. Unhealthy dietary patterns may partly explain this phenomenon. In the Spanish PREDIMED-Plus study, we explored (1) the cross-sectional association between the adherence to the Prime Diet Quality Score (PDQS), an a priori-defined high-quality food pattern, and the prevalence of depressive symptoms at baseline (cross-sectional analysis) and (2) the prospective association of baseline PDQS with changes in depressive symptomatology after 2 years of follow-up. After exclusions, we assessed 6612 participants in the cross-sectional analysis and 5523 participants in the prospective analysis. An energy-adjusted high-quality dietary score (PDQS) was assessed using a validated FFQ. The cross-sectional association between PDQS and the prevalence of depression or presence of depressive symptoms and the prospective changes in depressive symptoms were evaluated through multivariable regression models (logistic and linear models and mixed linear-effects models). PDQS was inversely associated with depressive status in the cross-sectional analysis. Participants in the highest quintile of PDQS (Q5) showed a significantly reduced odds of depression prevalence as compared to participants in the lowest quartile of PDQS (Q1) (OR (95 %) CI = 0·82 (0·68, 0·98))). The baseline prevalence of depression decreased across PDQS quintiles (Pfor trend = 0·015). A statistically significant association between PDQS and changes in depressive symptoms after 2-years follow-up was found (β (95 %) CI = −0·67 z-score (–1·17, −0·18). A higher PDQS was cross-sectionally related to a lower depressive status. Nevertheless, the null finding in our prospective analysis raises the possibility of reverse causality. Further prospective investigation is required to ascertain the association between PDQS and changes in depressive symptoms along time.
Prospective studies assessing the association between fibre intake or fibre-rich food consumption and the risk of CVD have often been limited by baseline assessment of diet. Thus far, no study has used yearly repeated measurements of dietary changes during follow-up. Moreover, previous studies included healthy and selected participants who did not represent subjects at high cardiovascular risk. We used yearly repeated measurements of diet to investigate the association between fibre intake and CVD in a Mediterranean cohort of elderly adults at high cardiovascular risk. We followed-up 7216 men (55–80 years) and women (60–80 years) initially free of CVD for up to 7 years in the PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea study (registered as ISRCTN35739639). A 137-item validated FFQ was repeated yearly to assess diet. The primary end point, confirmed by a blinded ad hoc Event Adjudication Committee, was a composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction and stroke. Time-dependent Cox’s regression models were used to estimate the risk of CVD according to baseline dietary exposures and to their yearly updated changes. We found a significant inverse association for fibre (Pfor trend=0·020) and fruits (Pfor trend=0·024) in age-sex adjusted models, but the statistical significance was lost in fully adjusted models. However, we found a significant inverse association with CVD incidence for the sum of fruit and vegetable consumption. Participants who consumed in total nine or more servings/d of fruits plus vegetables had a hazard ratio 0·60 (95 % CI 0·40, 0·96) of CVD in comparison with those consuming <5 servings/d.
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