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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2010 Feb;18(2):177-86. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181c65864.

Psychiatric disorders and cognitive dysfunction among older, postmenopausal women: results from the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study.

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1
Texas A&M Health Science Center, TX, USA.

Erratum in

  • Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2010 May;18(5):456.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the frequency of depressive symptoms and selected psychiatric disorders in the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS) cohort and related them to cognitive syndromes.

DESIGN:

WHIMS was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled prevention clinical trial examining whether opposed and unopposed hormone therapy reduced the risk of dementia in healthy postmenopausal women. Participants scoring below a designated cutpoint on a cognitive screener received a comprehensive neuropsychiatric workup and adjudicated outcome of no cognitive impairment, mild cognitive impairment, or probable dementia.

PARTICIPANTS:

Seven thousand four hundred seventy-nine WHIMS participants between age 65 and 79 years and free of dementia at the time of enrollment in WHIMS. Five hundred twenty-one unique participants contributed complete data required for these analyses.

MEASURES:

Depressive symptoms were measured with the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale and the presence of selected psychiatric disorders (major depression, generalized anxiety, and panic and alcohol abuse) was made using the PRIME-MD.

RESULTS:

The 18% of women had at least one psychiatric disorder with depression being the most common (16%) followed by general anxiety or panic (6%) and alcohol abuse (1%). Depression and the presence of a psychiatric disorder were associated with impaired cognitive status. Participants having a psychiatric disorder were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with cognitive impairment as those with no psychiatric disorder (odds ratio = 2.06, 95% confidence interval = 1.17-3.60). Older age, white race, and diabetes were also associated with cognitive impairment.

CONCLUSION:

The frequency of a psychiatric disorder is associated with poorer cognitive functioning among older women enrolled in WHIMS. That approximately one in five women had a probable psychiatric disorder, most typically depression, highlights the need for greater detection and treatment efforts in this population.

PMID:
20104074
PMCID:
PMC2939041
DOI:
10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181c65864
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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