J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 73:40-44 doi:10.1136/jnnp.73.1.40
  • Paper

Enduring increased risk of developing depression and mania in patients with dementia

  1. F M Nilsson1,3,
  2. L V Kessing1,
  3. T M Sørensen2,
  4. P K Andersen2,
  5. T G Bolwig1
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Biostatistics, University of Copenhagen
  3. 3Department of Psychiatric Demography, University of Aarhus, Risskov, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Flemming M Nilsson, Department of Psychiatry, O 6233 Neuroscience Centre, Rigshospitalet, 9 Blegdamsvej, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark;
  • Received 12 November 2001
  • Accepted 22 March 2002
  • Revised 15 March 2002


Objective: To investigate the time relation between dementia and major affective disorders (major depression and mania).

Methods: Register linkage study of the Danish Hospital Register and the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register, to establish study cohorts of patients with dementia and control groups (osteoarthritis or diabetes) on first discharge from hospital. Follow up of cohorts was for up to 21 years. Hazard of death was allowed for by the use of competing risks models.

Results: Patients with dementia had an increased risk of being admitted to hospital for major depression or mania during the course of the illness. The incidence remained elevated throughout the rest of the patient's life.

Conclusions: Patients with dementia have an increased risk of developing depression or mania. Proper treatment of affective disorders in patients with dementia is important in reducing suffering and costs.


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