European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, 2022
Impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on level of physical activity and health in home-dwelling older adults in Norway
The spread of the coronavirus in spring 2020 led to a lockdown of physical activity (PA) offers. The aim of this study was to investigate how PA, as well as general and mental health, in community-dwelling older adults were affected by the COVID-19 restrictions in Norway.
Invitation to participate in the study was sent via Facebook and the Norwegian Pensioners’ Association. Inclusion criteria were being ≥ 65 years old and living at home. Participants completed a questionnaire either digitally or on paper in June–August 2020. The questionnaire included questions on PA, general health, and mental health both before (13th of March) and during lockdown.
We included 565 participants (mean age 74 ± 5.3 years, 60.4% female); almost 60% had a university degree, 84% reported performing PA more than once per week, and 20% reported a fall in the previous 12 months. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test indicated that the corona lockdown significantly reduced activity level (Z = -4.918, p < 0.001), general health (Z = -6,910, p < 0.001) and mental health (Z = -12.114, p < 0.001). Those who were less active during lockdown had higher odds of experiencing worse health than those who maintained their activity level, odds ratio: 9.36 (95% CI = 4.71–18.58, p < 0.001) for general health and 2.41 (95% CI = 1.52–3.83, p < 0.001) for mental health. Those who attended organized exercise offers before lockdown had higher odds of being less active during lockdown compared to those who did not exercise in an organized setting, odds ratio: 3.21 (95% CI = 2.17–5.76, p < 0.001).
In a relatively highly educated and active group of older participants, COVID-19 restrictions still negatively affected level of activity as well as general and mental health. These short-term decreases in activity level and health suggest that preventive actions and increased focus on measures to support older adults in maintaining an active lifestyle are needed.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2021.
Neuropsychiatric symptoms and comorbidity: Associations with dementia progression rate in a memory clinic cohort
Objectives: Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) are associated with dementia severity and progression rate. NPS clusters have different neurobiological underpinnings; therefore, their effect on dementia progression may differ. Further, little is known about whether individual comorbidities affect progression rate. We investigated the effect of NPS clusters and individual comorbidities on dementia progression.
Methods: A memory clinic cohort with all-cause dementia (N = 442), was followed for up to three years from diagnosis. Previously, we found trajectory groups of dementia progression in this cohort: one with slow progression and two with rapid progression. In the present study, using principal component analysis, three symptom clusters of NPS were on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NPI-Q): agitation, affective, and psychosis symptom clusters. Data regarding comorbidity were collected by linkage to the Norwegian patient registry. Multinomial logistic regression was applied to explore the association between NPS clusters and comorbidity with trajectory-group membership.
Results: Adjusted for demographics, dementia aetiology, comorbidity, and cognition, we found that, at the time of dementia diagnosis, for every point within the psychosis symptom cluster of the NPI-Q, the risk of rapid progression increased by 53%; for every point within the affective symptom cluster, the risk of rapid progression increased by 29%. A previous diagnosis of mental and behavioural disorders (excluding dementia) decreased the risk of rapid dementia progression by 65%.
Conclusions: Psychosis and affective symptom clusters at the time of diagnosis were associated with rapid progression of dementia. Previous diagnoses of mental and behavioural disorders (excluding dementia) were associated with slow progression. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.