Anxiety disorders, depressive episodes and cognitive impairment no dementia in community-dwelling older men and women.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Int J Geriatr Psychiatry, Volume 26, Issue 10, p.1080-8 (2011)


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Anxiety Disorders, Canada, Cognition Disorders, Cross-Sectional Studies, Dementia, Depressive Disorder, Female, Humans, Male, Odds Ratio, Prevalence, Sex Factors


<p><b>BACKGROUND: </b>Anxiety symptoms are highly prevalent in elders with mild cognitive disorders, but little is known about the associations of specific anxiety disorders to mild cognitive disorders.</p><p><b>OBJECTIVE: </b>To identify the clinical and subclinical anxiety disorders associated with cognitive impairment no dementia (CIND) and to determine whether these associations differ depending on sex and concomitant depressive episodes.</p><p><b>METHOD: </b>Participants constituted a random sample (n = 2414) of community-dwelling adults aged 65-96 years. The following clinical and subclinical DSM-IV anxiety disorders were identified with a semi-structured interview: specific phobia, social phobia, agoraphobia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Major depressive episodes or minor depression (MDE/MD) were also determined based on the DSM-IV criteria. CIND cases were defined based on Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) cut-offs (15th percentile) stratified for age, education, and sex. Potentially confounding variables (age, education, MDE/MD, chronic diseases, and psychotropic drug use) were statistically controlled.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>In men, after adjusting for confounding variables, CIND was associated with subclinical GAD (odds ratio (OR): 4.93, 95% confidence interval: 1.84-13.23). Further analyses showed that in men, CIND was related to clinical/subclinical GAD whether MDE/MD was present (7.05, 1.88-26.43) or absent (9.33, 3.24-26.83). In women, CIND was not linked to any clinical or subclinical anxiety disorder.</p><p><b>CONCLUSIONS: </b>These results suggest that in community-dwelling elders, GAD is the main anxiety disorder associated with poor global cognitive functioning. Moreover, this association is modified by sex, but not by the presence of depressive episodes.</p>

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