Introduction There is increasing evidence that subtle losses in cognitive function may be symptomatic of a transition to early dementia. The objectives of this study were to: 1) test the effect of depressive symptoms and/or disability on cognitive impairment, 2) explore the interaction between depression and disability and the association with cognitive impairment, and 3) evaluate risk factors of health assessment to discriminate between elderly people with or without cognitive impairment. Material and methods The subjects were the community-dwellings aged 65 years and over who live in the sample city of southern Taiwan. 2734 persons were recruited by random sampling in the community, and the data was collected with face to face interviews by the training interviewers. Results The effect of disability on cognitive impairment is stronger than the effect in depression. It also implies the possibility that disability may mediate the association between depression and cognitive impairment. Screening for risk factors of cognitive impairment was defined in this study and may be feasible for general population. Conclusions This study suggests that disability and depression assessments may serve as useful predictors of cognitive impairment. It is hoped that for elderly people, early assessment through screening factors could be arranged to this high-risk subgroup to reduce the risk of developing future dementia. Screening for functional disability and depressive symptoms would help to put management strategies in place that may reduce the associated cognition impairment burden.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Geriatrics and Gerontology