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Psychological distress as a risk factor for dementia death

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1858-9
Number of pages2
JournalArchives of internal medicine
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


Current estimates suggest that neuropsychiatric disorders account for 28% of the global burden of disease.1 While depression and anxiety (commonly referred to as psychological distress) have been shown to be a consequence of dementia, the converse is less clear. The possibility that psychological distress might be a risk factor for dementia has major public health implications. However longitudinal studies—which are best placed to examine this relationship—have, with some exceptions,2,3 been small in scale (affecting study precision), excluded individuals younger than 65 years (limiting insights into the pre–older age origins of dementia), or have used clinical samples (reducing generalizability). Accordingly, we examined the role of psychological distress as a risk factor for and dementia death by pooling 10 large community-based cohort studies.

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