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2018 Colloquia

Ping Yao

Northern Illinois University
April 20, 2018
DU 212
2 p.m.

"Longitudinal Causal Inference of Cognitive Function and Depressive Symptoms in Elderly People"

OBJECTIVE: the association between depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale [CES-D]) and subsequent cognitive function (Mini-Mental State Examination [MMSE]) is equivocal in literature. To examine the causal relationship between them, we use longitudinal data on MMSE and CESD and causal inference to illustrate the relationship between two health outcomes. METHOD: Data were obtained from the Hispanic Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly. Participants included 3050 noninstitutionalized Mexican Americans aged 65 and older followed from 1993-2001. Cognitive function and depressive symptoms were assessed using the MMSE and CESD at baseline and at 2, 5, and 7 years of follow-up. Independent variables were sociodemographics, CESD, medical conditions. Marginal structural causal models were employed to evaluate the extent to which cognitive function depend not only on depressive symptoms measured at a single point in time but also on an individual’s entire depressive symptoms history. DISCUSSION: our results indicate that if intervention to reduce 1 points of depressive symptoms were made at two years prior to assessing cognitive function, they would result in average improvement in cognitive function of 0.12, 95% CI [0.06, 0.18],P<.0001. Conclusion: The results suggest that depressive symptoms were significantly causally associated with cognitive impair.
Key words: Cognitive function; depressive symptoms; longitudinal studies; causality inference.

Michael Newton
University of Wisconsin-Madison
April 27, 2018
DU 212
2 - 3 p.m.
4 - 5 p.m.