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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.
General anxiety and depressive symptoms following a myocardial infarction are associated with a worse cardiac prognosis. However, the contribution of specific aspects of anxiety within this context remains unclear.
To evaluate the independent prognostic association of cardiac anxiety with cardiac outcome after myocardial infarction.
We administered the Cardiac Anxiety Questionnaire (CAQ) during hospital admission (baseline, n = 193) and 4 months (n = 147/193) after discharge. CAQ subscale scores reflect fear, attention, avoidance and safety-seeking behaviour. Study end-point was a major adverse cardiac event (MACE): readmission for ischemic cardiac disease or all-cause mortality. In Cox regression analysis, we adjusted for age, cardiac disease severity and depressive symptoms.
The CAQ sum score at baseline and at 4 months significantly predicted a MACE (HRbaseline = 1.59, 95% CI 1.04–2.43; HR4-months = 1.77, 95% CI 1.04–3.02) with a mean follow-up of 4.2 (s.d. = 2.0) years and 4.3 (s.d. = 1.7) years respectively. Analyses of subscale scores revealed that this effect was particularly driven by avoidance (HRbaseline = 1.23, 95% CI 0.99–1.53; HR4-months = 1.77, 95% CI 1.04–1.83).
Cardiac anxiety, particularly anxiety-related avoidance of exercise, is an important prognostic factor for a MACE in patients after myocardial infarction, independent of cardiac disease severity and depressive symptoms.
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.
Few studies have addressed the relationship between generalised anxiety disorder and cardiovascular prognosis using a diagnostic interview.
To assess the association between generalised anxiety disorder and adverse outcomes in patients with myocardial infarction.
Patients with acute myocardial infarction (n = 438) were recruited between 1997 and 2000 and were followed up until 2007. Current generalised anxiety disorder and post-myocardial infarction depression were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. The end-point consisted of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular-related readmissions.
During the follow-up period, 198 patients had an adverse event. Generalised anxiety disorder was associated with an increased rate of adverse events after adjustment for age and gender (hazard ratio: 1.94; 95% confidence interval: 1.14–3.30; P = 0.01). Additional adjustment for measures of cardiac disease severity and depression did not change the results.
Generalised anxiety disorder was associated with an almost twofold increased risk of adverse outcomes independent demographic and clinical variables and depression.
Depression after myocardial infarction (MI) is associated with poor cardiovascular prognosis. There is some evidence that specifically depressive episodes that develop after the acute event are associated with poor cardiovascular prognosis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether an increase in the number of depressive symptoms after MI is associated with new cardiac events.
In 442 depressed and 325 non-depressed MI patients the Composite International Diagnostic Interview interview to assess post-MI depression was extended to evaluate the presence of the ICD-10 depressive symptoms just before and after the MI. The effect of an increase in number of depressive symptoms during the year following MI on new cardiac events up to 2.5 years post-MI was assessed with Cox regression analyses.
Each additional increase of one symptom was significantly associated with a 15% increased risk of new cardiac events, and this was stronger for non-depressed than for depressed patients. This association was independent of baseline cardiac disease severity. There was no interaction with the number of depressive symptoms pre-MI.
Our findings suggest that an increase in depressive symptoms after MI irrespective of the state of depression pre-MI explains why post-MI depression is associated with poor cardiovascular prognosis. Also increases in depressive symptoms after MI resulting in subthreshold depression should be evaluated as a prognostic marker. Whether potential mechanisms such as cardiac disease severity or inflammation underlie the association remains to be clarified.
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