Midlife Forgetfulness and Risk of Dementia in Old Age: Results from the Danish Working Environment Cohort Study

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Kazi Ishtiak-Ahmed, Åse Marie Hansen, Erik Lykke Mortensen, Anne Helene Garde, Matias Brødsgaard Grynderup, Finn Gyntelberg, Sabrina Islamoska, Rikke Lund, Thien Kieu Thi Phung, Eva Prescott, Gunhild Waldemar, Kirsten Nabe-Nielsen

BACKGROUND: Despite the current evidence of a high prevalence of forgetfulness in middle-aged individuals, and the evidence of a link between midlife memory complaints and biological changes in the brain, no previous study has yet investigated midlife forgetfulness in relation to risk of dementia in old age.

AIMS: We investigated whether midlife forgetfulness was an indicator of an increased risk of dementia in old age.

METHODS: We used data from 3,136 employed men and women who participated in the Danish Work Environment Cohort Study in 1990. These data were linked to Danish national registers. Participants were asked whether their closest relative had ever told them that they were forgetful. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) were estimated using Poisson regression analysis.

RESULTS: At baseline, 749 (24%) study participants were categorized as forgetful, and 86 (2.7%) participants were diagnosed with dementia during a total of 31,724 person-years at risk. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, comorbidities, and work-related factors, midlife forgetfulness was associated with a higher risk of dementia (IRR = 1.82; 95% CI: 1.12-2.97).

CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to investigate midlife forgetfulness and dementia, and the results suggest that midlife forgetfulness is an early indicator of an increased risk of dementia in old age.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
ISSN1420-8008
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jul 2019

ID: 225514877