Young adults with hostile attitudes or who don’t cope well with stress may be at increased risk for experiencing memory and thinking problems decades later, according to research by scientists at the National Institutes of Health and various universities. More than 3, 100 young adults answered questions assessing their personalities and attitudes, ability to cope with stress, and memory and thinking abilities. The researchers measured the participants’ cognitive abilities again 25 years later and found that those with the highest levels of hostility or ineffective coping skills performed worse on memory and thinking tests compared with people who had the lowest levels of those traits (Neurology, online March 2).
Standard ways of screening for depression risk may not work as well among blacks as among whites according to longitudinal research led by University of Michigan Scientists. The study’s 3, 300 participants, all in the United States, took a standard depression screening test that asked questions about their emotions, sleep, appetite, and energy levels. Fifteen years later, researchers conducted more detailed interviews to assess the participants’ mental health. Researchers found that white participants whose answers on the initial screening indicated a risk for depression were more likely to have major depression at the time of the later interview. There was no such association for black participants, even after the researchers corrected for differences in the participants’ social, economic, and physical health status, the initial screening did not accurately predict depression in black participants (Frontiers in Public Health, March).
Susie Bean Gives