OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prognostic value of subjective memory complaints for all-cause mortality in order to determine whether elderly persons with subjective memory complaints may be regarded as a group of vulnerable patients who need close follow-up. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. Setting. Primary care units in the central district of Copenhagen, Denmark. SUBJECTS: 758 community-dwellers aged 65 years and older consulting their general practitioner in October and November 2002. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Information on subjective memory complaints, socio-demographics, and health-related quality of life were collected at the enrolment primary care consultation. Dates of death from all causes occurring during the four-year follow-up were retrieved from the national databases. Cox proportional hazard regression models on time to death (censored after four years) were used to examine the influence of subjective memory complaints on all-cause mortality. RESULTS: 88 patients died during the four-year follow-up. The association between subjective memory complaints and mortality had a statistically not significant hazard ratio (HR) of 0.91, adjusting for known confounders. Statistically significant predictors for mortality were Age (HR = 1.43 for 75-84 years and HR = 3.39 for 85 + years), Sex (HR = 0.51 for women), Mobility (HR = 2.39 for some problems), Self-care (HR = 2.34 for some problems) and Comorbidity (HR = 2.06, 3.19 and 5.89 for a Charlson comorbidity index of 1, 2, or ≥ 3 respectively). CONCLUSION: In an elderly population presenting for primary care the presence of subjective memory complaints was not significantly associated with an increase in all-cause mortality.
Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, 2013, Vol 31, Issue 1, p. 7-12
Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale; Cause of Death; Denmark; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Humans; Male; Memory Disorders; Primary Health Care; Prognosis; Proportional Hazards Models; Prospective Studies