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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1996 Jan;44(1):44-9.

Memory complaints and memory impairment in older individuals.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Free University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine whether subjective memory complaints, measured with a series of four questions, are associated with performance on cognitive tests.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study of individuals, 65 to 85 years of age, who lived in the community of Amsterdam.

PARTICIPANTS:

Individuals were selected randomly within 5-year age strata from the patient lists of 30 general practitioners. Of the 4051 participants, 2537 nondepressed and nondemented respondents were included in the analysis.

MEASURES:

Four categories of subjective memory complaints were developed on the basis of answers to questions about the presence or absence of memory complaints and memory-related problems in daily functioning. Tests of cognitive function were derived from the subscales of the CAMCOG.

MAIN RESULTS:

Individuals with complaints and memory-related problems performed more poorly on tests of memory and memory-related functions. This relationship was strengthened after adjusting for age, sex, and premorbid verbal intelligence, all of which were related to complaint status and to performance on cognitive tests.

CONCLUSION:

Simple questions about memory function are related to memory performance in nondepressed, nondemented community-dwelling older people. Subjective memory complaints may be a promising indicator of memory impairment that signals the need for follow-up.

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PMID:
8537589
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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