Background: Affective symptoms are considered a risk factor or prodromal symptom for dementia. Recent reviews indicate that depressive symptoms predict progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia, but results need to be further explored.
Objective: To investigate the effect of depressive symptoms on the development of dementia in people with MCI, and explore potential sources of between-study variability, including study setting by a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Methods: Databases were searched for prospective studies defining people with MCI at baseline, investigating dementia at follow-up and giving information about depressive symptoms. Two authors independently extracted data from the studies and rated the methodological quality. Meta-analyses were conducted using random-effect models to yield pooled risk ratios (RR). Meta-regression analyses tested differences between clinical and community-based studies and other sources of heterogeneity.
Results: Thirty-five studies, representing 14,158 individuals with MCI, were included in the meta-analysis. Depressive symptoms in MCI predicted dementia in 15 community-based studies (RR = 1.69, 95% CI 1.49-1.93, I-2 = 0.0%), but not in 20 clinical studies (RR = 1.02, 95% CI 0.92-1.14, I-2 = 73.0%). Further investigation of this effect showed that the mean age of community-based studies was significantly higher than of clinical studies but neither this nor other study characteristics explained variability in study outcomes.
Conclusions: Depressive symptoms are associated with an increased risk of conversion from MCI to dementia in community-based studies. In contrast, evidence in clinical populations was insufficient with high heterogeneity.
- depressive symptoms
- mild cognitive impairment
- risk factors
- systematic review
- LATE-LIFE DEPRESSION
- NEUROPSYCHIATRIC SYMPTOMS
- INSTRUMENTAL ACTIVITIES
- INCIDENT DEMENTIA