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Alzheimers Dement. 2016 Apr;12(4):399-406. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2015.09.008. Epub 2015 Nov 6.

Anxiety is associated with increased risk of dementia in older Swedish twins.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Electronic address: petkus@usc.edu.
2
Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside, CA, USA.
3
Psychology Service, VA San Diego Healthcare System; Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.
4
Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA; VA Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health, San Diego, CA, USA.
5
Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

We asked whether anxiety is associated with prospective risk of dementia, and the extent to which genetic influences mediate this association.

METHODS:

Nondemented twins (n = 1082) from the Swedish Adoption Twin Study of Aging completed an assessment of anxiety symptoms in 1984 and were followed for 28 years.

RESULTS:

Baseline anxiety score, independent of depressive symptoms, was significantly associated with incident dementia over follow-up (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.04; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01-1.06). There was 48% increased risk of becoming demented for those who had experienced high anxiety at any time compared with those who had not. In co-twin analyses, the association between anxiety symptoms and dementia was greater for dizygotic (HR = 1.11; 95% CI = 1.02-1.20) compared with monozygotic twins (HR = 1.06; 95% CI = 0.95-1.20), indicating genetic mediation.

DISCUSSION:

Anxiety symptoms were associated with increased risk of dementia. Genetic factors common to dementia and anxiety partially mediated this association.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Dementia; Depression; Genetics; Twins

PMID:
26549599
PMCID:
PMC4841698
DOI:
10.1016/j.jalz.2015.09.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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