Diagnosed depression and sociodemographic factors as predictors of mortality in patients with dementia

Gemma Lewis, Nomi Werbeloff, Joseph F. Hayes, Robert Howard, David P.J. Osborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background Potentially modifiable risk factors for developing dementia have been identified. However, risk factors for increased mortality in patients with diagnosed dementia are not well understood. Identifying factors that influence prognosis would help clinicians plan care and address unmet needs. Aims To investigate diagnosed depression and sociodemographic factors as predictors of mortality in patients with dementia in UK secondary clinical care services. Method We conducted a cohort study of patients with a dementia diagnosis in an electronic health records database in a UK National Health Service mental health trust. Results In 3374 patients with 10 856 person-years of follow-up, comorbid depression was not associated with mortality (adjusted hazard ratio 0.94; 95% CI 0.71-1.24). Single patients had higher mortality than those who were married (adjusted hazard ratio 1.25; 95% CI 1.03-1.50). Patients of Asian ethnicity had lower mortality rates than White British patients (adjusted hazard ratio 0.50; 95% CI 0.34-0.73). Conclusions Clinically diagnosed depression does not increase mortality in patients with dementia. Patients who are single are a potential high-mortality risk group. Lower mortality rates in Asian patients with dementia that have been reported in the USA also apply in the UK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-476
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the University College London Hospital National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre. D.P.J.O. was also in part supported by the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care North Thames at Bart’s Health NHS Trust. J.F.H. was supported by the Medical Research Council Population Health Scientist Fellowship (no.: MR/K021362/1) during the completion of this work.

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust for their support in accessing CRIS. We also acknowledge the support of the National Institute for Health Research Queen Square Dementia Biomedical Research Unit.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2018. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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