Diabetes, depression and cognitive decline in older adults

Helmes, E., Ostbye, T., and Steenhuis, R. (2009) Diabetes, depression and cognitive decline in older adults. In: Proceedings of the 19th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, p. 673. From: 19th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 5-9 July 2009, Paris, France.

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Abstract

Introduction. Recent studies suggest an association between diabetes and decline in cognitive function. We evaluated changes in cognition in elderly with diabetes (compared with elderly without diabetes) from a national sample of otherwise healthy older Canadians.

Methods and materials. Data from the comprehensive clinical assessment in the first 2 waves of the nationally representative Canadian Study of Health and Aging provided neuropsychological data on cognitive functioning in 83 seniors with diabetes and 661 without. Measures of long- and short-term memory, abstract reasoning, judgment, language, agnosia, and construction skills were contrasted for the two groups using analysis of covariance with age and gender as covariates. A parallel set of analyses used test scores from wave I and the Geriatric Depression Scale score as additional covariates to predict scores from wave 2 among 3S5 individuals tested as cognitively intact on both occasions (5 years apart).

Results. At the first wave, elderly with diabetes scored lower only on the construction test, In the second set of analyses, elderly with diabetes scored lower than those without on a measure of short-term memory. Age was a significant covariate for the measures of short- and long-term memory, language, and construction skills. Depression was a significant covariate for seven measures, excluding only two reasoning measures and a colour naming test, whereas the wave I measure was a significant covariate for 9 of the 10 variables excepting only one measures of agnosia.

Conclusions. Diabetes was not associated with generalized cognitive dysfunction. With advancing age, the results suggest that measures of short-term memory are most sensitive to the influence associated with diabetes on cognition. As expected, depression influenced most of test scores. In this group, selected for good health, the presence of diabetes appears to have modest influences upon cognitive functions.

Item ID: 7947
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Keywords: cognition; depression; diabetes; older adults
Additional Information:

Poster No. PC8 626.

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ISSN: 1279-7707
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2010 05:27
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing @ 25%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 25%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1702 Cognitive Science > 170299 Cognitive Science not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920114 Reproductive System and Disorders @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920502 Health Related to Ageing @ 50%
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