Depression later in life linked to Alzheimer’s

A long-running, large US study found depressive symptoms that occur in both midlife and late life are linked with an increased risk of developing dementia.

The study looked at 13,500 patients in a health maintenance organisation database who were evaluated for depression at 40–55 years and again at a mean age of 81 years.

The researchers looked for diagnoses of dementia over a six–year period, finding more than 3000 (22.5%) of the cohort developed the disease.

At midlife, 14.1% of participants had depressive symptoms, in late life 9.2% had depressive symptoms, and 4.2% had symptoms at both stages.