Younger Age at Crisis Following Parental Death in Male Children and Adolescents Is Associated With Higher Risk for Dementia at Old Age

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Abstract

Aims

To examine the association of midlife report of crisis following parental death (CFPD) during childhood and adolescence, with dementia at old age.

Methods

In 1965, 9362 male participants of the Israel Ischemic Heart Disease study were asked whether they have experienced CFPD (paternal or maternal) during the following ages: 0 to 6, 7 to 12, 13 to 18, or >18 years. Dementia was assessed over 3 decades later in 1889 survivors of the original cohort, 1652 of whom were assessed for CFPD in 1965.

Results

Controlling for age, the estimated odds ratios for dementia relative to individuals who reported crisis following paternal parental death (CFPD-P) at the age of 18 years and above were 3.06 (95% CI: 1.42-6.61), 2.15 (95% CI: 0.87-5.31), and 2.35 (95% CI: 1.05-5.28) for those who reported CFPD-P at the ages of 0 to 6, 7 to 12, and 13 to 18 years, respectively. Odds ratios for dementia were 0.60 (95% CI: 0.32-1.11) for participants who reported CFPD-P at ages of 18 and above compared with participants who did not report such a crisis. Similar results were obtained for the association of crisis reported following maternal parental death (CFPD-M) at different age groups and dementia.

Conclusions

CFPD during childhood is associated with an increased risk for dementia in men who survived until old age.

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