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Cortisol levels among older people with and without depression and dementia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 December 2018

Maria Lage Barca*
Affiliation:
Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Ageing and Health, Vestfold Hospital Trust, Tønsberg, Norway Department of Geriatric Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
Rannveig S. Eldholm
Affiliation:
Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway Department of Geriatrics, St. Olav Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
Karin Persson
Affiliation:
Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Ageing and Health, Vestfold Hospital Trust, Tønsberg, Norway Department of Geriatric Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
Guro Hanevold Bjørkløf
Affiliation:
Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Ageing and Health, Vestfold Hospital Trust, Tønsberg, Norway
Tom Borza
Affiliation:
Centre for Old Age Psychiatric Research, Innlandet Hospital Trust, Ottestad, Norway
Elisabeth Telenius
Affiliation:
Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Ageing and Health, Vestfold Hospital Trust, Tønsberg, Norway
Anne-Brita Knapskog
Affiliation:
Department of Geriatric Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
Anne Brækhus
Affiliation:
Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Ageing and Health, Vestfold Hospital Trust, Tønsberg, Norway Department of Geriatric Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
Ingvild Saltvedt
Affiliation:
Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway Department of Geriatrics, St. Olav Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
Geir Selbæk
Affiliation:
Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Ageing and Health, Vestfold Hospital Trust, Tønsberg, Norway
Knut Engedal
Affiliation:
Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Ageing and Health, Vestfold Hospital Trust, Tønsberg, Norway
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: Maria Lage Barca, Norwegian Advisory Unit for Ageing and Health, Postbox 2136, 3103 Tønsberg, Norway; Phone: (+47) 9743-6610. Email: maria.barca@aldringoghelse.no.

Abstract

Cortisol dysregulation has been reported in dementia and depression. Cortisol levels and its associates were investigated among older people living at home and in nursing homes, in a cross-sectional study. A sample of 650 older people, from the community (home and nursing homes) and specialized care (memory clinics and old age psychiatry wards), mean age 76.8 (SD = 10.3) (dementia n = 319, depression, n = 154, dementia plus depression n = 53, and reference group n = 124), was included. Assessment included the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), Cornell scale for depression in dementia, activities of daily living scales, and salivary cortisol. Number of drugs was registered. The results showed that the cortisol ratio was highest among patients with dementia and co-morbid depression in comparison to those with either depression or dementia and the reference group. Characteristics significantly associated with cortisol levels were higher MMSE score (in patients with dementia and co-morbid depression), male gender (in people with dementia), and number of medications (in the reference group). We conclude that the cortisol ratio was highest among patients with dementia and co-morbid depression in comparison to those with either depression or dementia and the reference group. The association of cortisol level with MMSE score among patients with dementia and depression could further indicate that increased stress is related to cognitive function.

Type
Brief Report
Copyright
© International Psychogeriatric Association 2018 

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