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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Perceived stress and dementia: Results from the Copenhagen city heart study

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Objectives: We investigated if perceived stress in midlife increased the risk of dementia. Furthermore, we explored differences between subgroups related to sex, age and employment status when reporting stress. Methods: In this longitudinal study, we used information on perceived stress from 10,814 participants (mean age 56.7 years). Participants were followed through Danish national registers for development of dementia. Participants were considered at risk of dementia from the date they turned 60 years. Perceived stress was assessed as a combination of self-reported intensity and frequency of stress, and categorized into low (score 0-1), medium (score 2-4), and high stress (score 5-6). We used Poisson regression to estimate incidence rate ratios (IRR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) and adjusted for sociodemographic factors and psychiatric morbidity at baseline (main model) as well as cardio/cerebrovascular diseases and health behaviors at baseline (additional model). Results: The mean follow-up time was 13.8 years, and 1,519 participants were registered with dementia. Dementia risk was higher in participants reporting medium stress (IRR = 1.11, 95% CI: 0.99-1.24) and high stress (IRR = 1.36, 95% CI: 1.13-1.65). Adjustment for cardio/cerebrovascular diseases and health behaviors did not alter the results. We did not find strong support for differences between subgroups, although the association between stress and dementia was stronger for those who were employed at the time of reporting high stress. Conclusion: Our results provide empirical support for an effect of perceived stress on the risk of dementia in old age.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAging & Mental Health
Volume24
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1828-1836
ISSN1360-7863
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

ID: 58020335