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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


NAZAR, Gabriela et al. Association between cognitive impairment and depression in Chilean older adults. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2020, vol.148, n.7, pp.947-955. ISSN 0034-9887.


Depression has been previously associated with cognitive impairment in high income country populations. However, its association in the Chilean population has not been investigated.


To investigate the association between depression and cognitive impairment.

Material and Methods:

Data from 1384 Chilean adults aged > 60 years, participating in the National Health Survey 2009-2010 was analyzed. Cognitive impairment was assessed using the Mini Mental Examination score. The medical diagnosis of depression was self-reported. The association between depression and cognitive impairment was assessed using a logistic regression.


Depression was positively associated with cognitive impairment. However, the magnitude of the association was higher in men (Odds ratio (OR) = 4.02 [95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.44; 6.61], p < 0.01]) than in women (OR = 2.23 [95%CI: 1.03; 3.43], p = 0.04). Older adults who were diagnosed for the first time with depression after 65 years of age, showed a stronger association with cognitive impairment (OR = 6.65 [95% CI: 2.39; 10.9], p < 0.01) than those diagnosed before 55 years.


Our study confirms the association between depression and cognitive impairment. Further research is needed to elucidate the nature and potential mechanisms that link depression with cognitive impairment.

Keywords : Aging; Cognitive Dysfunction; Depression.

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