Memory Decline and Depression Onset in U.S. and European Older Adults

Rebecca Bendayan, Amanda Kelly, Scott M. Hofer, Andrea M. Piccinin, Graciela Muniz-Terrera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: We explore the association between different patterns of change in depressive symptoms and memory trajectories in US and European Mediterranean (Spain, France, Italy, and Israel) and non-Mediterranean (Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, and Austria) older adults. Methods: Samples consisted of 3,466 participants from the Health Retirement Study (HRS) and 3,940 participants from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement (SHARE). Individuals were grouped as follows: non-case depression (NO DEP), persistent depression (DEP), depression onset (ONSET), depression recovery (RECOV), and fluctuating (FLUCT). Memory was measured using immediate and delayed recall tests. Linear mixed models were used. Results: DEP and RECOV had significantly lower baseline memory scores compared to NO DEP, at intercept level. At slope level, ONSET had a significantly faster decline in both tasks compared to NO DEP. Discussion: Cross-cohort robust and consistent new empirical evidence on the association between depression onset and faster decline in memory scores is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-198
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • HRS
  • cognitive decline
  • depressive symptoms
  • replication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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