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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2017, Article ID 7482094, 8 pages
Research Article

Major Depressive Symptoms Increase 3-Year Mortality Rate in Patients with Mild Dementia

1Research Unit for General Practice, Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, J.B. Winsløws Vej 9, 5000 Odense C, Denmark
2Department of Mental Health, Mental Health Services in the Region of Southern Denmark, Skovbakken 2, 6000 Kolding, Denmark
3Danish Dementia Research Centre, Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
4Research Unit for General Practice and Section of General Practice, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, P.O. Box 2099, 1014 Copenhagen K, Denmark

Correspondence should be addressed to Jindong Ding Petersen; kd.uds.htlaeh@gnodnij

Received 21 December 2016; Revised 7 March 2017; Accepted 23 March 2017; Published 6 April 2017

Academic Editor: Francesco Panza

Copyright © 2017 Jindong Ding Petersen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Depression and dementia are commonly concurrent and are both associated with increased mortality among older people. However, little is known about whether home-dwelling patients newly diagnosed with mild dementia coexisting with depressive symptoms have excess mortality. We conducted a post hoc analysis based on data from the Danish Alzheimer’s Intervention Study of 330 individuals who were diagnosed with mild dementia within the past 12 months. Thirty-four patients were identified with major depressive symptoms (MD-S) at baseline. During the 3-year follow-up period, 56 patients died, and, among them, 12 were with MD-S at baseline. Multivariable analysis adjusting for the potential confounders (age, sex, smoking status, alcohol consumption, education, BMI, household status, MMSE, CCI, QoL-AD, NPIQ, ADSC-ADL, medication, and RCT allocation) showed that patients with MD-S had a 2.5-fold higher mortality as compared to the patients without or with only few depressive symptoms. Our result revealed that depression is possibly associated with increased mortality in patients with mild dementia. Given that depression is treatable, screening for depression and treatment of depression can be important already in the earliest stage of dementia to reduce mortality.