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Psychological well-being and risk of dementia

Contact Information

Keywords

Alzheimer's disease, dementia, depressive symptoms, psychological reserve, purpose in life, well‐being

Abstract

Well-being is a psychological resource that buffers against age-related disease. We test whether this protective effect extends to dementia and whether it is independent of distress.
Methods
Participants (N = 10,099) were from the Health and Retirement Study. Five aspects of positive psychological functioning (life satisfaction, optimism, mastery, purpose in life, and positive affect) were tested as predictors of incident dementia over 6 to 8 years.
Results
Purpose in life was associated with a 30% decreased risk of dementia, independent of psychological distress, other clinical and behavioral risk factors, income/wealth, and genetic risk. After controlling for distress and other risk factors, the other aspects of well-being were not associated with dementia risk.
Conclusions
After considering psychological distress, we found that measures of well-being were generally not protective against risk of dementia. An exception is purpose in life, which suggests that a meaningful and goal-driven life reduces risk of dementia.

Citation

Sutin, A. R., Stephan, Y., & Terracciano, A. (2018). Psychological well‐being and risk of dementia. International journal of geriatric psychiatry, 33(5), 743-747.

DOI

Model

human

Conent Area

Angelina R. Sutin

EWB-Related Construct

(1) goal pursuit; (2) life satisfaction; (3) positive affect; (5) sense of meaning

Study Design

Species or Study Population

(4) correlational

Sex (%Female)

60%

Age (Mean, SD)

67.03, 9.18

Younger Controls?

No

Longitudinal Data?

Yes

Sample Size

10,099

Interventions

N/A

Ethnicity (%white)

88%

Inclusion Criteria

Participants were selected if they
(1) completed the well‐being measures at the baseline well‐being assessment,
(2) scored within the normal range of cognitive functioning without cognitive impairment (ie, no dementia or cognitive impairment not dementia; modified Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status, TICSm ≥ 12) at the baseline well‐being assessment,
(3) had follow‐up cognitive data (follow-up period range 2 to 8).

Exclusion Criteria

not stated

EWB Measures

(1) Purpose in life (7-item purpose in life subscale from Ryff Scale of Psychological Well-being (Ryff, 1989; Ryff & KeYes, 1995):
(2) Life satisfaction (5‐item satisfaction with life scale as a measure of cognitive well‐being),
(3) Optimism (revised version of the Life Orientation Test), c (5 items on perceived mastery)
(4) Affect (6 items on positive affect (e.g., cheerful) in 2006 assessment and with 13 items (e.g., proud) in 2008 assessment

Non-EWB Behavioral
Measures

Dementia: elephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICSm)
Perceived Mastery: [Lachman ME, Weaver SL. The sense of control as a moderator of social class differences in health and well-being. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998;74:763–773.]
(5) Distress (8‐item version of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale) unclear

Physiological Measures

N/A

Brain IMaging Modality

Brain IMaging Paradigm

N/A

Brain Region/Circuit

N/A

Biological Measures

N/A

Other Neural Measures

Data Availability?

Yes

Data Avalability Details

Health and Retirement Study (HRS; http://hrsonline.isr.umich.edu)

Diagnostic Measures

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