Sammendrag på engelsk: (abstract):
Anxiety symptoms are common in old age and have been suggested as risk factors for development of cognitive impairment and mortality. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether anxiety symptoms among older adults with a mental health diagnosis are persistent and severity of anxiety predicts cognitive decline and mortality.
We collected data from 201 patients referred to specialist mental health service in a department of geriatric psychiatry. Of these, 150 were re‐examined after 33 months, while 51 patients died before follow‐up. Mean age (SD) at baseline among the patients that were re‐examined was 73.4 (7.3) years and 67% were women. The Geriatric Anxiety Inventory (GAI) was used to measure anxiety symptoms at baseline and follow‐up. We investigated whether higher GAI scores at baseline were associated with persistence of anxiety. Associations with cognitive decline or mortality were also explored. The associations were estimated by use of trajectory analysis and regression models.
Seventy‐four percentages had the same level of anxiety symptoms and 29% had a high level of anxiety at baseline and follow‐up. GAI score at baseline was not associated with cognitive decline or mortality at 33 months follow‐up.
In a longitudinal study of anxiety symptoms among older adults in specialist mental health services we demonstrate persistent high or low levels of anxiety symptoms. Anxiety trajectories over time were not predicted by patient characteristics. Also, the level of anxiety cannot be used as predictor for future cognitive decline or mortality in a clinical population.
International journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2019