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Late life depression linked to dementia

Late life depression linked to dementia
9th May 2013

People who suffer with depression later in life are more likely to be diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.

Analysis conducted by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh's school of Medicine in the  US and the Federal University of Minais Gerais in Brazil found that vascular dementia rates are significantly greater in people who have previously battled depression.

Dr Breno S. Diniz, who led the study, said that late-life depression is one of the most common psychiatric conditions in older people and has long been associated with the development of other conditions as well as increased death rates.

However, research into its link with the development of dementia has been previously lacking.

The study, which is published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, looked at people aged over 50 who did not have dementia to begin with and analysed them in follow-up periods of 6.1 years.

It found that out of 49,612 people with all-cause dementia, 5,116 had had depression. Of 28,746 people with Alzheimer's disease, 3,437 had late-life depression.