Longitudinal Cognitive Profiles by Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms in American Older Adults With Subjective Cognitive Decline

Sangwoo Ahn, Michelle A. Mathiason, Fang Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: The objective of this study was to determine how anxiety and/or depressive symptoms differentially affect specific cognitive domains over time in persons with subjective cognitive decline (SCD). Design: A longitudinal, observational study was conducted using data from the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center-Uniform Data Set. Mean follow-up was 4.1 ± 2.4 years. Methods: Using information from a total of 1401 participants (age 74.0 ± 8.2 years), linear mixed-effects regression models were used to assess longitudinal changes in global cognition, episodic memory, attention, language, and executive function by baseline psychological (anxiety [A] and/or depressive [D]) symptoms in individuals with SCD. Reference was the group having no symptoms (A−/D−). Findings: The A+/D− group was not associated with any cognitive changes. The A−/D+ group was associated with a greater decline in episodic memory and executive function. The A+/D+ group had a greater decline in attention. Changes in global cognition and language were not predicted by any psychological symptoms. Conclusions: Depressive symptoms predicted lower episodic memory and executive function. Clinical Relevance: Nurses need to pay attention to depressive symptoms in older adults with SCD because managing depressive symptoms may help protect against cognitive decline more typical of early Alzheimer’s dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)698-708
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Alzheimer's dementia
  • depressive symptoms
  • episodic memory
  • executive function
  • subjective cognitive decline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'Longitudinal Cognitive Profiles by Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms in American Older Adults With Subjective Cognitive Decline'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this