Stress, Depression Linked to MCI, Alzheimer Disease

Chronic stress and depression are independent risk factors and have an additive effect when combined

FRIDAY, Oct. 20, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Chronic stress and depression are associated with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease, according to a study published online Oct. 2 in Alzheimer”s Research & Therapy.

Johanna Wallensten, from Danderyd Hospital in Stockholm, and colleagues conducted a cohort study including 1,362,548 people with records in the Region Stockholm administrative health care database. Exposure was a recorded diagnosis of chronic stress, depression, or both in 2012 or 2013. The outcome, recorded from 2014 through 2022, was a diagnosis of Alzheimer disease, other dementia, or mild cognitive impairment.

The researchers found that 4,346 patients were diagnosed with chronic stress; 40,101 with depression; and 1,898 with both during the exposure period. In the fully adjusted model, adjusted for age, sex, neighborhood socioeconomic status, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders, the odds ratio for Alzheimer disease was 2.45, 2.32, and 4.00 in patients with chronic stress, depression, and chronic stress and depression, respectively. The corresponding odds ratios for mild cognitive impairment were 1.87, 2.85, and 3.87. When other dementia was analyzed, the odds ratio was only significant in patients with depression (2.39).

“The findings suggest that chronic stress and depression may be independent risk factors for dementia and together they may have an additive effect on the risk for later dementia,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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