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Effects of between-person differences and within-person changes in symptoms of anxiety and depression on older age cognitive performance
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
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Number of Authors: 52018 (English)In: Psychological Medicine, ISSN 0033-2917, E-ISSN 1469-8978, Vol. 48, no 8, p. 1350-1358Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Anxiety and depression are both important correlates of cognitive function. However, longitudinal studies investigating how they covary with cognition within the same individual are scarce. We aimed to simultaneously estimate associations of between-person differences and within-person variability in anxiety and depression with cognitive performance in a sample of non-demented older people.

Methods

Participants in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 study, a population-based narrow-age sample (mean age at wave 1= 79 years, n = 535), were examined on five occasions across 13 years. Anxiety and depression were measured with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and cognitive performance was assessed with tests of reasoning, logical memory, and letter fluency. Data were analyzed using two-level linear mixed-effects models with within-person centering.

Results

Divergent patterns were observed for anxiety and depression. For anxiety, between-person differences were more influential; people who scored higher on HADS anxiety relative to other same-aged individuals demonstrated poorer cognitive performance on average. For depression, on the other hand, time-varying within-person differences were more important; scoring higher than usual on HADS depression was associated with poorer cognitive performance relative to the average level for that participant. Adjusting for gender, childhood mental ability, emotional stability, and disease burden attenuated these associations.

Conclusions

The results from this study highlight the importance of addressing both between- and within-person effects of negative mood and suggest that anxiety and depression affect cognitive function in different ways. The current findings have implications for assessment and treatment of older age cognitive deficits.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 48, no 8, p. 1350-1358
Keywords [en]
Anxiety, aging, cognitive function, depression, population-based study, within-person change
National Category
Psychology Psychiatry Gerontology, specialising in Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157715DOI: 10.1017/S0033291717002896ISI: 000432396700013PubMedID: 29039283OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157715DiVA, id: diva2:1236269
Available from: 2018-08-01 Created: 2018-08-01 Last updated: 2018-08-01Bibliographically approved

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  • de-DE
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