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This study investigates the relationship between insomnia and cognitive dysfunctions including, subjective memory impairment (SMI), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia, by considering depression in a community sample of elderly individuals.
Data for 1,740 elderly individuals aged 65 years and over were obtained from a nationwide dementia epidemiological study conducted in South Korea. Cognitive functional status was assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination and the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Packet Clinical Assessment Battery. Insomnia was defined as the presence of at least one of the four sleep complaints (difficulty in initiating sleep, difficulty in maintaining sleep, early morning awakening, and non-restorative sleep), accompanied by moderate to severe daytime consequences. Depression was evaluated using the Geriatric Depression Scale.
The prevalence of insomnia in the patients with SMI, MCI, and dementia was found to be 23.2%, 19.6%, and 31.0%, respectively. The patients with SMI, MCI, and dementia were significantly more likely to have insomnia and the four sleep complaints than the normal comparison patients. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, the significant relationships between cognitive dysfunctional status and insomnia remained. However, after adjusting for sociodemographic factors and depression, no significant relationships with any of the sleep complaints or insomnia remained.
Insomnia is a very common complaint in the elderly with SMI, MCI, and dementia. Depression might play an important factor in the relationship between insomnia and cognitive dysfunctional status in the elderly.
This study evaluated the impacts of earlier traumatic events on the mental health of older adults, in terms of mental disorders and mental well-being, according to sociodemographic variables, trauma-related characteristics, and personality traits in a nationally representative sample of older Koreans.
A total of 1,621 subjects aged 60 to 74 years from a Korean national epidemiological survey of mental disorders responded face-to-face interviews. The Korean Composite International Diagnostic Interview was used to investigate lifetime trauma exposure (LTE) and psychiatric diagnoses. The EuroQol health classification system and life satisfaction scale were used to assess quality of life (QoL), and the Big Five Inventory-10 (BFI-10) to measure personality traits.
Five-hundred and seventy-seven subjects (35.6%) reported a history of LTE (mean age at trauma, 30.8 years old). Current mental disorders were more prevalent in elderly people with LTE, while better current QoL was more frequent in those without LTE. Among older people with LTE, lower extraversion and higher neuroticism increased the risk of current mood or anxiety disorders, whereas higher extraversion increased the probability of experiencing mental well-being after adjusting for sociodemographic and trauma-related variables.
Personality traits, especially extraversion, and neuroticism, may be useful for predicting the mental health outcomes of LTE in older adults. Further longitudinal studies investigating the relationship between traumatic events and mental health outcomes are needed.
In many countries, illiteracy rates among aged people are quite high. However, only few studies have specifically investigated the impact of illiteracy on depression.
Data for 1,890 elderly individuals (aged ≥65 years) were obtained from a nationwide dementia epidemiological study conducted in South Korea. Based on their reading ability, the participants were divided into three groups: totally illiterate, partially illiterate, and literate. The Korean version of the Geriatric Depression Scale – Short Form (SGDS-K) was used to detect depression (cut-off score = 8). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to assess the association between illiteracy and depression. To explore clinical features of depression in illiterate people, we performed logistic regression to calculate odds ratios of positive responses (or negative responses to reverse-coded items) for each SGDS-K item using literate individuals as the reference group.
Totally illiterate participants had 2.41 times the odds and partially illiterate individuals had 1.59 times the odds of being depressed compared with literate participants after controlling for other variables. Compared with literate individuals, illiterate elderly persons were at increased odds for responding negatively to the majority of SGDS-K items, including “having memory problems,” “others are better off than me,” and “feeling worthless” even after controlling for various demographic and clinical factors.
Illiteracy in elderly individuals was associated with a higher rate and increased severity of depression. Illiteracy negatively affected depression symptomatology, especially factors associated with self-esteem. Therefore, clinicians should carefully monitor for the presence of depression in illiterate elderly adults.
We assessed eight-year mortality rates and predictors in a rural cohort of elderly individuals with cognitive impairment.
A total of 1,035 individuals, including 155 (15.0%) individuals with cognitive impairment, no dementia (CIND), and 69 (6.7%) individuals with clinically diagnosed dementia were followed for eight years from 1997. The initial assessment involved a two-step diagnostic procedure performed during a door-to-door survey, and mortality data were obtained from the Korean National Statistical Office (KNSO). The relationship between clinical diagnosis and risk of death was examined using the Cox proportional hazards model after adjusting for age, sex, and education.
During follow-up, 392 individuals died (37.9%). Compared to persons without cognitive impairment, mortality risk was nearly double among those with CIND (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval], 1.92 [1.46–2.54]), and this increased more than three-fold among those with dementia (3.20 [2.30–4.44]). Old age and high scores on the behavioral changes scale at diagnosis were two common predictors of mortality among those with CIND and dementia. Among the items on the behavioral changes scale, low sociability, less spontaneity, and poor hygiene were associated with increased mortality in individuals with CIND. Conversely, low sociability, excessive emotionality, and irritability were associated with increased mortality in patients with dementia.
Both dementia and CIND increased mortality risk compared with normal cognition in this community cohort. It is important to identify and manage early behavioral changes to reduce mortality in individuals with CIND and dementia.
Background: Insomnia is a common psychiatric complaint among elderly individuals. This study investigates the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of insomnia by considering a community sample of elderly individuals in South Korea.
Methods: A face-to-face household survey was conducted in five regions of South Korea from June 2008 to August 2008. Among a total of 3,074 individuals aged 65 years and over, 2,002 participants were interviewed. The presence of insomnia was defined as having at least one of four sleep complaints that included difficulty in initiating sleep (DIS), difficulty in maintaining sleep (DMS), early morning awakening (EMA), and non-restorative sleep (NRS) more than three times per week in the last month. The Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Questionnaire, a short form of the Geriatric Depression scale (GDS), and a medical review of systems were implemented.
Results: Insomnia was found in 29.2% of the participants. DIS, DMS, EMA, and NRS accounted for 19.4%, 21.7%, 19.6%, and 8.0% of the participants respectively. Insomnia accompanied by daytime consequences accounted for 17.1% of the participants. The participants who were females, had no education, lived alone, showed symptoms of RLS or depression, and had a lifetime history of physical illness were significantly more likely to report insomnia. The prevalence of DIS, DMS, EMA, or insomnia increased slightly with age, whereas that of NRS decreased slightly. The lifetime history of head trauma, hyperlipidemia, heart disease, anemia, or depression was significantly related to insomnia.
Conclusion: Sleep problems are common among elderly individuals and are closely related to their lifetime history of physical illness.
Background: The influences of demographics, culture, language, and environmental changes on Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores are considerable.
Methods: Using a sample of 7452 healthy, community-dwelling elderly Koreans, aged 55 to 94 years, who participated in the four ongoing geriatric cohorts in Korea, we investigated demographic influences on MMSE scores and derived normative data for this population. Geropsychiatrists strictly excluded subjects with cognitive disorders according to the protocol of the Korean version of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Packet (CERAD-K) Clinical Assessment Battery (CERAD-K-C).
Results: Education (standardized β = 0.463), age (standardized β = −0.303), and gender (standardized β = −0.057) had significant effects on MMSE scores (p < 0.001). The score of MMSE increase 0.379 point per 1-year education, decrease 0.188 per 1-year older, and decrease 0.491 in women compared to men. Education explained 30.4% of the scores’ total variance, which was much larger than the variances explained by age (8.4%) or gender (0.3%). Accordingly, we present normative data for the MMSE stratified by education (0, 1–3, 4–6, 7–9, 10–12, and ≥ 13 years), age (60–69, 70–79, and 80–89 years), and gender.
Conclusions: We provide contemporary education-, age-, and gender-stratified norms for the MMSE, derived from a large, community-dwelling elderly Korean population sample, which could be useful in evaluating individual MMSE scores.
Background: This study aims to establish the incidence rates of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and to understand the relations between illiteracy and AD in the Korean Yonchon survey cohort.
Methods: A community-based, dementia-free cohort of 966 people aged 65 years and older was followed up for an average of 5.4 ± 1.60 years to detect incident AD cases using a two-phase procedure. Age-specific incidence rates were calculated using a person-years approach with Poisson distribution confidence intervals. Data were analyzed using the Cox proportional hazards model to find the hazard ratio of illiteracy.
Results: The participating percentage of the survivors was 86.4% and 74 subjects were diagnosed with AD. Incidence rates per 1000 person-years were 20.99 (95% CI 16.48 to 26.35) for AD. The hazard ratio of illiteracy was 1.78 (95% CI 1.08 to 2.93) adjusted for age, sex, educational level. AD developed more rapidly with aging in the illiterate group than in the literate group.
Conclusions: Illiteracy is associated with a higher risk of AD and the risk increases with age.
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