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Depression is associated with the metabolic syndrome (MS). Recently, the concept of ‘metabolic depression’ has been proposed based on a protracted course of depressive symptoms over time.
Objective and aims
Within the Netherlands study of depression in older persons, we examined whether metabolic dysregulation predicted the two-year course of depression.
A cohort study (n = 285) of depressed persons (≥60 years) with two-year follow up. Depression was classified according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). Severity of depression was assessed with sum score as well as subscale scores of the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (IDS) at six-month intervals. The metabolic syndrome was defined according the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP-ATP III). We applied logistic regression and linear mixed models adjusted for a wide range of confounders and severity of depression at baseline.
The number of MS-components predicted non-remission at two-years (OR = 1.28 [95% CI: 1.00–1.58], P = 0.047), which was driven by waist-circumference, HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. MS was only associated with the somatic symptom subscale score of the IDS over time, but not with its sum score (interaction time × somatic subscale, P = 0.002). This effect was driven by waist circumference, elevated fasting glucose level and hypertension.
Metabolic dysregulation predicts the course of late-life depression. This effect seems to be driven by visceral obesity (as indicated by the waist circumference) and lipid dysregulations and with respect to the somatic symptoms of depression.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Cognitive frailty has recently been defined as the co-occurrence of physical frailty and cognitive impairment. Late-life depression is associated with both physical frailty and cognitive impairment, especially processing speed and executive functioning.
Aim and objectives
In this study, we investigated the association between physical frailty and cognitive functioning in depressed older persons.
In a total of 378 patients (> 60 years) with depression according to DSM-IV criteria and a MMSE score of 24 points or higher, the physical frailty phenotype as well as its individual criteria (weight loss, weakness, exhaustion, slowness, low activity) was studied. Cognitive functioning was examined in 4 domains: verbal memory, working memory, interference control, and processing speed.
Of the 378 depressed patients (range 60–90 years; 66.1% women), 61 were classified as robust (no frailty criteria present), 214 as prefrail (1 or 2 frailty criteria present), and 103 as frail (> 3 criteria). Linear regression analyses, adjusted for confounders, showed that the severity of physical frailty was associated with poorer verbal memory, slower processing speed, and decreased working memory, but not with changes in interference control.
In late-life depression, physical frailty is associated with poorer cognitive functioning, although not consistently for executive functioning. Future studies should examine whether cognitive impairment in the presence of physical frailty belongs to cognitive frailty and is indeed an important concept to identify a specific subgroup of depressed older patients, who need multimodal treatment strategies integrating physical, cognitive, and psychological functioning.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Personality dysfunction has been postulated as the most clinically salient problem of persons suffering from medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) but empirical studies are scarce. This study aims to compare the personality profile of older patients suffering from MUS with two comparison groups and a control group.
Ninety-six older patients with MUS were compared with 153 frequent attenders in primary care suffering from medically explained symptoms (MES), 255 patients with a past-month depressive disorder (DSM-IV-TR), and a control group of 125 older persons. The Big Five personality domains (NEO-Five-Factor Inventory) were compared between groups by multiple ANCOVAs adjusted for age, sex, education, partner status and cognitive functioning. Linear regression analyses were applied to examine the association between health anxiety (Whitley Index) and somatization (Brief Symptom Inventory).
The four groups differed with respect to neuroticism (P < 0.001), extraversion (P < 0.001), and agreeableness (P = 0.045). Post hoc analyses, showed that MUS patients compared to controls scored higher on neuroticism and agreeableness, and compared to depressed patients lower on neuroticism and higher on extraversion as well agreeableness. Interestingly, MUS and MES patients had a similar personality profile. Health anxiety and somatization were associated with a higher level of neuroticism and a lower level of extraversion and conscientiousness, irrespective whether the physical symptom was explained or not.
Older patients with MUS have a specific personality profile, comparable to MES patients. Health anxiety and somatization may be better indicators of psychopathology than whether a physical symptom is medically explained or not.
Although the criteria for physical frailty and depression partly overlap, both represent unique, but reciprocally related constructs. The association between inflammation and frailty has been reported consistently, in contrast to the association between inflammation and late-life depression (LLD).
Aim and objectives
To determine whether physical frailty is associated with low-grade inflammation in LLD.
The physical frailty phenotype, defined as three out of five criteria (weight loss, weakness, exhaustion, slowness, low physical activity level), and three inflammatory markers [C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and neutrophil gelatinase–associated lipocalin (NGAL)] were assessed in a sample of individuals aged 60 and older with depression according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, criteria (n = 366).
The physical frailty phenotype was not associated with inflammatory markers in linear regression models adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle characteristics, and somatic morbidity. Of the individual criteria, handgrip strength was associated with CRP and IL-6, and gait speed was associated with NGAL. Principal component analysis identified two dimensions within the physical frailty phenotype: performance-based physical frailty (encompassing gait speed, handgrip strength, and low physical activity) and vitality-based physical frailty (encompassing weight loss and exhaustion). Only performance-based physical frailty was associated with higher levels of inflammatory markers.
The physical frailty phenotype is not a unidimensional construct in individuals with depression. Only performance-based physical frailty is associated with low-grade inflammation in LLD, which might point to a specific depressive subtype.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Loneliness and social isolation have negative health consequences and are associated with depression. Personality characteristics are important when studying persons at risk for loneliness and social isolation. The objective of this study was to clarify the association between personality factors, loneliness and social network, taking into account diagnosis of depression, partner status and gender.
Cross-sectional data of an ongoing prospective cohort study, the Netherlands Study of Depression in Older Persons (NESDO), were used.
Setting and participants:
474 participants were recruited from mental health care institutions and general practitioners in five different regions in the Netherlands.
NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) personality factors and loneliness and social network were measured as well as possible confounders. Multinominal logistic regression analyses were performed to analyse the associations between NEO-FFI factors and loneliness and social network. Interaction terms were investigated for depression, partner status and gender.
Higher neuroticism and lower extraversion in women and lower agreeableness in both men and women were associated with loneliness but not with social network size irrespective of the presence of depression. In the non-depressed group only, lower openness was associated with loneliness. Interaction terms with partner status were not significant.
Personality factors are associated with loneliness especially in women. In men lower agreeableness contributes to higher loneliness. In non-depressed men and women, lower openness is associated with loneliness. Personality factors are not associated with social network size.
Studying secular trends in the exposure to risk and protective factors of depression and whether these trends are associated with secular trends in the prevalence of depression is important to estimate future healthcare demands and to identify targets for prevention.
Three birth cohorts of 55–64-year olds from the population-based Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam were examined using identical methods in 1992 (n = 944), 2002 (n = 964) and 2012 (n = 957). A two-stage screening design was used to identify subthreshold depression (SUBD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). Multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to identify secular trends in depression prevalence and to identify factors from the biopsychosocial domains of functioning that were associated with these trends.
Compared with 1992, MDD became more prevalent in 2002 (OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.10–3.28, p = 0.022) and 2012 (OR 1.80, 95% CI 1.03–3.14, p = 0.039). This was largely attributable to an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases and functional limitations. Socioeconomic and psychosocial improvements, including an increase in labor market participation, social support and mastery, hampered MDD rates to rise more and were also associated with a 32% decline of SUBD-rates in 2012 as compared with 2002 (OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.48–0.96, p = 0.03).
Among late middle-aged adults, there is a substantial net increase of MDD, which is associated with deteriorating physical health. If morbidity and disability continue to increase, a further expansion of MDD rates may be expected. Improving socioeconomic and psychosocial conditions may benefit public health, as these factors were protective against a higher prevalence of both MDD and SUBD.
Poor recovery from depressive disorder has been shown to be related to low perceived social support and loneliness, but not to social network size or frequency of social interactions. Some studies suggest that the significance of social relationships for depression course may be greater in younger than in older patients, and may differ between men and women. None of the studies examined to what extent the different aspects of social relationships have unique or overlapping predictive values for depression course. It is the aim of the present study to examine the differential predictive values of social network characteristics, social support and loneliness for the course of depressive disorder, and to test whether these predictive associations are modified by gender or age.
Two naturalistic cohort studies with the same design and overlapping instruments were combined to obtain a study sample of 1474 patients with a major depressive disorder, of whom 1181 (80.1%) could be studied over a 2-year period. Social relational variables were assessed at baseline. Two aspects of depression course were studied: remission at 2-year follow-up and change in depression severity over the follow-up period. By means of logistic regression and random coefficient analysis, the individual and combined predictive values of the different social relational variables for depression course were studied, controlling for potential confounders and checking for effect modification by age (below 60 v. 60 years or older) and gender.
Multiple aspects of the social network, social support and loneliness were related to depression course, independent of potential confounders – including depression severity – but when combined, their predictive values were found to overlap to a large extent. Only the social network characteristic of living in a larger household, the social support characteristic of few negative experiences with the support from a partner or close friend, and limited feelings of loneliness proved to have unique predictive value for a favourable course of depression. Little evidence was found for effect modification by gender or age.
If depressed persons experience difficulties in their social relationships, this may impede their recovery. Special attention for interpersonal problems, social isolation and feelings of loneliness seems warranted in depression treatment and relapse prevention. It will be of great interest to test whether social relational interventions can contribute to better recovery and relapse prevention of depressive disorder.
Depression is associated with the metabolic syndrome (MS). We examined whether metabolic dysregulation predicted the 2-year course of clinical depression.
A total of 285 older persons (⩾60 years) suffering from depressive disorder according to DSM-IV-TR criteria was followed up for 2 years. Severity of depression was assessed with the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (IDS) at 6-month intervals. Metabolic syndrome was defined according the National Cholesterol Education Programme (NCEP-ATP III). We applied logistic regression and linear mixed models adjusted for age, sex, years of education, smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, somatic co-morbidity, cognitive functioning and drug use (antidepressants, anti-inflammatory drugs) and severity of depression at baseline.
MS predicted non-remission at 2 years (odds ratioper component = 1.26, 95% confidence interval 1.00–1.58), p = 0.047), which was driven by the waist circumference and HDL cholesterol. MS was not associated with IDS sum score. Subsequent analyses on its subscales, however, identified an association with the somatic symptom subscale score over time (interaction time × somatic subscale, p = 0.005), driven by higher waist circumference and elevated fasting glucose level.
Metabolic dysregulation predicts a poor course of late-life depression. This finding supports the concept of ‘metabolic depression’, recently proposed on population-based findings of a protracted course of depressive symptoms in the presence of metabolic dysregulation. Our findings seem to be driven by abdominal obesity (as indicated by the waist circumference) and HDL cholesterol dysregulation.
Cognitive impairment and depression often co-occur in older adults, but it is not clear whether depression is a risk factor for cognitive decline, a psychological reaction to cognitive decline, or whether changes in depressive symptoms correlate with changes in cognitive performance over time. The co-morbid manifestation of depression and cognitive impairment may reflect either a causal effect or a common cause, depending on the specific symptoms experienced and the cognitive functions affected.
The study sample comprised 1506 community-dwelling older adults aged ⩾65 years from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA). We conducted cross-domain latent growth curve analyses to examine longitudinal associations between late-life depression dimensions (i.e. depressed affect, positive affect, and somatic symptoms) and specific domains of cognitive functioning (i.e. processing speed, inductive reasoning, immediate recall, and delayed recall).
Poorer delayed recall performance at baseline predicted a steeper increase in depressed affect over time. Steeper decline in processing speed correlated with a steeper increase in somatic symptoms of depression over time.
Our findings suggest a prospective association between memory function and depressed affect, whereby older adults may experience an increase in depressed affect in reaction to poor memory function. Somatic symptoms of depression increased concurrently with declining processing speed, which may reflect common neurodegenerative processes. Our findings do not support the hypothesis that depression symptoms may be a risk factor for cognitive decline in the general population. These findings have potential implications for the treatment of late-life depression and for the prognosis of cognitive outcomes.
The heterogeneous aetiology of major depressive disorder (MDD) might affect the presentation of depressive symptoms across the lifespan. We examined to what extent a range of mood, cognitive, and somatic/vegetative depressive symptoms were differentially present depending on patient's age.
Data came from 1404 participants with current MDD (aged 18–88 years) from two cohort studies: the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA) and the Netherlands Study of Depression in Older Persons (NESDO). Associations between age (per 10 years) and 30 depressive symptoms as well as three symptom clusters (mood, cognitive, somatic/vegetative) were assessed using logistic and linear regression analyses.
Depression severity was found to be stable with increasing age. Nevertheless, 20 (67%) out of 30 symptoms were associated with age. Most clearly, with ageing there was more often early morning awakening [odds ratio (OR) 1.47, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.36–1.60], reduced interest in sex (OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.31–1.53), and problems sleeping during the night (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.24–1.43), whereas symptoms most strongly associated with younger age were interpersonal sensitivity (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.66–0.79), feeling irritable (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.67–0.79), and sleeping too much (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.68–0.83). The sum score of somatic/vegetative symptoms was associated with older age (B = 0.23, p < 0.001), whereas the mood and cognitive sum scores were associated with younger age (B = −0.20, p < 0.001; B = −0.04, p = 0.004).
Depression severity was found to be stable across the lifespan, yet depressive symptoms tend to shift with age from being predominantly mood-related to being more somatic/vegetative. Due to the increasing somatic presentation of depression with age, diagnoses may be missed.
Subthreshold depression (SUBD) in later life is common and important as prodromal state and prominent risk factor in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). Indicated prevention can reduce the incidence of MDD among people with SUBD substantially, but needs to be targeted to those that are truly at risk of developing MDD.
N = 341 eligible participants with SUBD were included from the first (1992/1993), second (1995/1996) and third (1998/1999) cycle from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) by using a two-stage screening design. LASA is an ongoing prospective cohort study in The Netherlands among the older population (55–85 years). At baseline (1992/1993) N = 3107 participants were interviewed and follow-up cycles were conducted every 3 years until 2008/2009, resulting in maximal 17 years of observational period. The proportion of people that developed MDD, remained SUBD, or recovered from SUBD was measured and Cox proportional regression analyses were performed to investigate 29 putative predictors of MDD and recovery from SUBD.
N = 153 (44.9%) recovered from SUBD, N = 138 (40.5%) remained chronically SUBD, and N = 50 (14.7%) developed MDD (incidence rate 15.1/1000 person-years). Women, high neuroticism, more chronic diseases, high body mass index, smoking and less social support predicted conversion to MDD. Men, low neuroticism and absence of pain predicted recovery from SUBD.
Although older people with SUBD are clearly at risk of developing MDD, the majority did not, even after a long and thorough follow-up. Given the risk factors that were uncovered, targeting and prevention of MDD in those at very high risk is feasible.
Vitamin D deficiency is common in older persons. The objectives of this study were: To examine the cross-sectional and longitudinal association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and cognitive functioning in older persons; and to explore the optimal cut-off for serum 25(OH)D.
Data of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) were used. Serum 25(OH)D was determined using a competitive protein binding assay in 1995/6 (n = 1,320). Cognitive functioning was assessed in 1995/6 and 1998/9 using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE, general cognitive functioning), Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices (RCPM, ability of nonverbal and abstract reasoning), the Coding Task (CT, information processing speed), and the 15 Words Test (15WT, immediate memory and delayed recall). The data were analyzed using linear regression analyses and restricted cubic spline functions. The MMSE was normalized using ln(31-MMSE).
Mean serum 25(OH)D was 53.7 nmol/L. After adjustment for confounding, patients with serum 25(OH)D levels below 30 nmol/L had significantly lower general cognitive functioning (beta of ln(31-MMSE) = 0.122; p = 0.046) and slower information processing speed (beta = −2.177, p = 0.001) as compared with patients having serum 25(OH)D levels ≥ 75 nmol/L in the cross-sectional analyses. For both outcomes, the optimal cut-off was about 60 nmol/L. No other significant associations were observed.
A lower serum 25(OH)D was significantly associated with lower general cognitive functioning and slower information processing speed, but not with a faster rate of cognitive decline.
Psychosocial stress has been associated with an increased risk for mental and somatic health problems across the life span. Some studies in younger adults linked this to accelerated cellular aging, indexed by shortened telomere length (TL). In older adults, the impact of psychosocial stress on TL may be different due to the lifetime exposure to competing causes of TL-shortening. This study aims to assess whether early and recent psychosocial stressors (childhood abuse, childhood adverse events, recent negative life events, and loneliness) were associated with TL in older adults.
Data were from the Netherlands Study of Depression in Older Persons (NESDO) in which psychosocial stressors were measured in 496 persons aged 60 and older (mean age 70.6 (SD 7.4) years) during a face-to-face interview. Leukocyte TL was determined using fasting blood samples by performing quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and was expressed in base pairs (bp).
Multiple regression analyses, adjusted for age, sex, and chronic diseases, showed that childhood abuse, recent negative life events and loneliness were unrelated to TL. Only having experienced any childhood adverse event was weakly but significantly negatively associated with TL.
Our findings did not consistently confirm our hypothesis that psychosocial stress is associated with shorter TL in older adults. Healthy survivorship or other TL-damaging factors such as somatic health problems seem to dominate a potential effect of psychosocial stress on TL in older adults.
In older persons, a relationship between both higher and lower blood pressure and depression has inconsistently been reported. Blood pressure may be differentially associated with distinct symptom domains of depression. We examined the cross-sectional relation of current systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) with different depressive symptom domains among depressed older persons.
In the Netherlands Study of Depression in Older Persons (NESDO), 270 participants aged 60 years and above were diagnosed with depression in the past month. Using the three corresponding subscales of the Inventory of Depressive Symptoms-Self Report (IDS-SR), motivational, mood and somatic symptom domains were assessed. Additionally, symptoms of apathy were determined with the Apathy Scale. Multiple linear regression was used to examine the cross-sectional relationship between current SBP, DBP and MAP with both IDS-SR subscale and Apathy Scale scores. Unstandardized betas were calculated per 10 mmHg increase in blood pressure measures.
Mean age of participants was 70.4 years (standard deviation 7.3). Higher SBP (Beta 0.33, t (254) = 2.01, p = 0.045), higher DBP (Beta 0.68, t (254) = 2.15, p = 0.03) and higher MAP (Beta 0.63, t (254) = 2.33, p = 0.02) were associated with higher Apathy Scale scores in the fully adjusted model. Furthermore, a higher SBP was associated with higher IDS-SR mood subscale scores (Beta 0.25, t (254) = 2.13, p = 0.03).
Depressed older people with higher blood pressure measures had particularly more symptoms of apathy. To disentangle the relationship of blood pressure with late-life depression, it is important to pay attention to the role of apathy symptoms.
Research illustrates cognitive deficits in children and younger adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Few studies have focused on the cognitive functioning in older adults. This study investigates the association between ADHD and cognitive functioning in older adults.
Data were collected in a cross-sectional side study of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA). A diagnostic interview to diagnose ADHD was administered among a subsample (N = 231, age 60–94). ADHD symptoms and diagnosis were assessed with the Diagnostic Interview for ADHD in Adults (DIVA) 2.0. Cognitive functioning was assessed with tests in the domains of executive functioning, information processing speed, memory, and attention/working memory.
Regression analyses indicate that ADHD diagnosis and ADHD severity were only negatively associated with cognitive functioning in the attention/working memory domain. When adjusting for depression, these associations were no longer significant.
The study shows that ADHD in older adults is associated with lower cognitive functioning in the attention/working memory domain. However, this was partly explained by depressive symptoms.
Late-life depression is a heterogeneous disorder, whereby cognitive impairments are often observed. This study examines which clinical characteristics and symptom dimensions of late-life depression are especially impacting on specific cognitive domains.
Cross-sectional data of 378 depressed and 132 non-depressed older adults between 60–93 years, from the Netherlands Study of Depression in Older adults (NESDO) were used. Depressed older adults were recruited from both inpatient and outpatient mental healthcare institutes and general practices, and diagnosed according to DSM-IV-TR criteria. Multivariable associations were examined with depression characteristics (severity, onset, comorbidity, psychotropic medication) and symptom dimensions as independent variables and cognitive domains (episodic memory, processing speed, interference control, working memory) as dependent variables.
Late-life depression was associated with poorer cognitive functioning. Within depressed participants, higher severity of psychopathology and having a first depressive episode was associated with poorer cognitive functioning. The use of tricyclic antidepressants, serotonergic and noradrenergic working antidepressants, and benzodiazepines was associated with worse cognitive functioning. Higher scores on the mood dimension were associated with poorer working memory and processing speed, whereas higher scores on a motivational and apathy dimension were associated with poorer episodic memory and processing speed.
Heterogeneity in late-life depression may lead to differences in cognitive functioning. Higher severity and having a first depressive episode was associated with worse cognitive performance. Additionally, different domains of cognitive functioning were associated with specific symptom dimensions. Our findings on the use of psychotropic medication suggest that close monitoring on cognitive side effects is needed.
Memory complaints in older adults may be a precursor of measurable cognitive decline. Causes for these complaints may vary across age groups. The goal of this study was to develop classification models for the early identification of persons at risk for memory complaints using a broad range of characteristics.
Two age groups were studied, 55–65 years old (N = 1,416.8) and 65–75 years old (N = 471) using data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam. Participants reporting memory complaints at baseline were excluded. Data on predictors of memory complaints were collected at baseline and analyzed using logistic regression analyses. Multiple imputation was applied to handle the missing data; missing data due to mortality were not imputed.
In persons aged 55–65 years, 14.4% reported memory complaints after three years of follow-up. Persons using medication, who were former smokers and had insufficient/poor hearing, were at the highest risk of developing memory complaints, i.e. a predictive value of 33.3%. In persons 65–75 years old, the incidence of memory complaints was 22.5%. Persons with a low sense of mastery, who reported having pain, were at the highest risk of memory complaints resulting in a final predictive value of 56.9%. In the subsample of persons without a low sense of mastery who (almost) never visited organizations and had a low level of memory performance, 46.8% reported memory complaints at follow-up.
The classification models led to the identification of specific target groups at risk for memory complaints. Suggestions for person-tailored interventions may be based on these risk profiles.
In depressed persons, thoughts of death and suicide are assumed to represent different degrees of a construct: suicidality. However, this can be questioned in older persons facing physical and social losses. Thoughts of death in depressed older persons are hardly examined in the absence of suicidal ideation. Furthermore, most depression instruments do not discriminate suicidal ideation from thoughts of death only. We examined whether determinants of thoughts of death differ from determinants of suicidal ideation in late life depression.
Past month's thoughts of death and suicidal ideation were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview in 378 depressed older persons (>60 years of age). Multinomial logistic regression analyses adjusted for age and depression severity were used to identify socio-demographic, lifestyle, clinical and somatic determinants of past month's thoughts of death, and suicidal ideation.
Compared with patients without thoughts of death or suicide (n = 267), patients reporting thoughts of death but no suicidal ideation (n = 74) were older (OR (95% confidence interval) = 1.04 (1.00–1.08)) and more severely depressed (OR = 1.06 (1.04–1.08)), whereas patients with suicidal ideation (n = 37) were also more severely depressed (OR = 1.09 (1.06–1.13)), but not older. This latter group was further characterized by more psychiatric comorbidity (dysthymia OR = 2.28 (1.08–4.85)), panic disorder (OR = 2.27 (1.00–518)), at-risk alcohol use (OR = 4.10 (1.42–11.90)), lifetime suicide attempts (OR = 3.37 (1.46–7.75)), loneliness (OR = 1.24 (1.07–1.43)), and recent life events (OR = 3.14 (1.48–6.67)).
In depressed older persons thoughts of death and suicide differ in relevant demographic, social, and clinical characteristics, suggesting that the risks and consequences of the two conditions differ.
Little is known about the prevalence of attention-deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD) among older adults.
To estimate the prevalence of the syndromatic and symptomatic DSM-IV ADHD
diagnosis in older adults in The Netherlands.
Data were used from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA). At
baseline, 1494 participants were screened with an ADHD questionnaire and
in 231 respondents a structured diagnostic interview was administered.
The weighted prevalence of ADHD was calculated.
The estimated prevalence rate of syndromatic ADHD in older adults was
2.8%; for symptomatic ADHD the rate was 4.2%. Younger elderly adults
(60–70 years) reported significantly more ADHD symptoms than older
elderly adults (71–94 years).
This is the first epidemiological study on ADHD in older persons. With a
prevalence of 2.8% the study demonstrates that ADHD does not fade or
disappear in adulthood and that it is a topic very much worthy of further
It has been hypothesized that stressful life events are associated with changes in hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis regulation, which increases susceptibility to psychiatric disorders. We investigated the association of early and late life events with HPA axis regulation in older persons.
Within the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) 1055 participants (47% male), aged 63–93 years, collected saliva within 30 min after waking and late in the evening. Early and late life events were assessed during a home interview. The associations between life events and cortisol levels were examined using linear regression and analysis of covariance with adjustments for demographics, cardiovascular risk factors and depressive symptoms.
Within our sample, the median morning and evening cortisol levels were 15.0 nmol/l [interdecile range (10–90%): 7.4–27.0 nmol/l] and 2.8 nmol/l (10–90%: 1.5–6.3 nmol/l), respectively. Persons who reported early life events showed lower levels of natural log-transformed morning cortisol [B=−0.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) −0.17 to −0.04] and flattened diurnal variability of cortisol (B=−1.06, 95% CI −2.05 to −0.08). Those reporting two or more late life events showed higher levels of natural log-transformed morning cortisol (B=0.10, 95% CI 0.02–0.18) and higher diurnal variability (B=1.19, 95% CI 0.05–2.33). No associations were found with evening cortisol.
The results of this large population-based study of older persons suggest a differential association of early and late life events with HPA axis regulation; early life events were associated with a relative hypo-secretion of morning cortisol and flattened diurnal variability, while late life events were associated with elevated secretion of morning cortisol and high diurnal variability of cortisol.