Special Issue "Epidemiology and Mental Health among Older Adults"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Matthew C. Lohman
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Office for the Study of Aging, University of South Carolina, Columbia 29208, USA
Interests: psychiatric epidemiology; gerontology; late-life depression; frailty; falls; healthy aging; long-term care; suicide among older adults
Dr. Karen Fortuna
Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Psychiatry, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA
Interests: digital peer support; older adults, technology, mental health and physical health co-morbidities

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The proportion of adults aged 60 years and older in the population is expanding worldwide, and is expected to nearly double by 2050. With this expansion comes a growing need for public health research focused on improving and maintaining health and quality of life among older adults. There is growing recognition of the unique challenges to optimal mental health faced by older adults. Nearly 20% of older adults experience some type of mental health concern, most commonly but not limited to neurological disorders, depression, and substance abuse. Older adults with mental health disorders are at greater risk of functional and physical decline, disability, early mortality, and numerous other poor health outcomes. Moreover, poor mental health may adversely affect the course and treatment of other chronic mental and physical health conditions, leading to increased healthcare use and expenditures. These effects are compounded by the under-identification and under-treatment of mental health problems among older adults.

This Special Issue is intended to inform the development of policies and interventions to promote optimal mental health in aging, through population-based studies of the distribution and determinants of mental health in older adults. This includes but is not limited to the following topics:

  • Differences in the incidence and prevalence of mental health disorders by culture, race, region, urbanicity, and other characteristics;
  • Identification of social, environmental, and other determinants of mental health in later life;
  • Evaluation of population-based mental health interventions or policies;
  • Physiological outcomes associated with mental health disorders in later life;
  • Mental health in long-term care;
  • Polypharmacology and substance abuse;
  • Elder abuse;
  • Social isolation and loneliness.

Original articles, literature reviews, brief reports, and commentaries are welcomed.

Dr. Matthew Lohman
Dr. Karen Fortuna
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Older adults
  • Mental health
  • Epidemiology
  • Dementia

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Neighborhood Characteristics and the Mental Health of Caregivers Cohabiting with Care Recipients Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 913; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18030913 - 21 Jan 2021
Viewed by 412
Abstract
While studies have documented the influence of caregiver and care recipient factors on caregiver health, it is important to address the potential impact of neighborhood contexts. This study estimated the cross-sectional associations between neighborhood characteristics and mental health among caregivers cohabiting with Alzheimer’s [...] Read more.
While studies have documented the influence of caregiver and care recipient factors on caregiver health, it is important to address the potential impact of neighborhood contexts. This study estimated the cross-sectional associations between neighborhood characteristics and mental health among caregivers cohabiting with Alzheimer’s disease care recipients that were experiencing severe or non-severe neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPSs) (e.g., aggression/anxiety). We obtained data collected in 2010 on caregivers and care recipients (n = 212) from a subset of South Carolina’s Alzheimer’s Disease Registry. Neighborhood measures (within 1 mile of the residence) came from the American Community Survey and the Rural-Urban Commuting Area Code. We categorized the neighborhood median household income into tertiles, namely, “low” (<$31,000), “medium” ($31,000–40,758), and “high” (>$40,758), and rurality as “large urban,” “small urban,” and “rural.” We used negative binomial regression to estimate the prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for caregiver mental health using neighborhood characteristics. The mean age was 58 ± 10.3 years, 85% were women, and 55% were non-Hispanic Black. Among the caregivers cohabiting with a recipient experiencing severe NPS, higher distress was experienced by caregivers living in low- (PR = 1.61 (95% CI = 1.26–2.04)) and medium- (PR = 1.45 (95% CI = 1.17–1.78)) vs. high-income neighborhoods after an adjustment. These results suggest that neighborhood characteristics may amplify other social stressors experienced by caregivers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology and Mental Health among Older Adults)
Open AccessArticle
Association between Proximity of the Elementary School and Depression in Japanese Older Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study from the JAGES 2016 Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020500 - 09 Jan 2021
Viewed by 550
Abstract
Depression among older adults is one of the most critical public health issues. The proximity of elementary schools has been positively associated with neighborhood social cohesion and quality of life. However, no studies have identified an association between the proximity of elementary school [...] Read more.
Depression among older adults is one of the most critical public health issues. The proximity of elementary schools has been positively associated with neighborhood social cohesion and quality of life. However, no studies have identified an association between the proximity of elementary school and older adults’ mental health. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the association between the proximity of elementary schools, one of the core facilities of neighborhood communities in Japan, and depression in older adults. A total of 131,871 participants (63,430 men 73.7 ± 6.1 years, 68,441 women 73.8 ± 6.2 years) were analyzed from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES) 2016 survey. Logistic regression analysis showed that there was no association between distance to elementary school and depression among males. However, among females, compared with the participants living within 400 m from the nearest elementary school, the odds ratio of depression for those living between 400 and 799 m and more than 800 m away were 1.06 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00–1.12) and 1.07 (95% CI 1.00–1.15), respectively. The findings may be useful when considering the design of communities around elementary schools and the planning of facilities as a population-based approach to promote mental health of older women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology and Mental Health among Older Adults)
Open AccessArticle
Time-Varying Insomnia Symptoms and Incidence of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia among Older US Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010351 - 05 Jan 2021
Viewed by 606
Abstract
There is conflicting evidence regarding the association between insomnia and the onset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. This study aimed to evaluate if time-varying insomnia is associated with the development of MCI and dementia. Data from the Health and Retirement Study [...] Read more.
There is conflicting evidence regarding the association between insomnia and the onset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. This study aimed to evaluate if time-varying insomnia is associated with the development of MCI and dementia. Data from the Health and Retirement Study (n = 13,833) from 2002 to 2014 were used (59.4% female). The Brief Insomnia Questionnaire was used to identify insomnia symptoms which were compiled in an insomnia severity index, ranging from 0 to 4. In analysis, participants’ symptoms could vary from wave-to-wave. Dementia was defined using results from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) global cognitive assessment tool. Respondents were classified as either having dementia, MCI, or being cognitively healthy. Cox proportional hazards models with time-dependent exposure using the counting process (start-stop time) were used for analysis. For each one-unit increase in the insomnia symptom index, there was a 5-percent greater hazard of MCI (HR = 1.05; 95% CI: 1.04–1.06) and dementia (HR = 1.05; 95% CI: 1.03–1.05), after fully adjusting. Using a nationally representative sample of adults age 51 and older, this study found that time-varying insomnia symptoms are associated with risk of MCI and dementia. This highlights the importance of identifying sleep disturbances and their change over time as potentially important risk factors for MCI and dementia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology and Mental Health among Older Adults)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Establishing a Research Agenda
Authors: Irwin, K.; Walker, R.; Fortuna, K.
Affiliation: Dartmouth College, Department of Psychiatry

Title: Does Social Isolation Mediate Greater Fall Risk Among Older Adults with Depression?
Authors: Lohman, M.; Fairchild, A.; Merchant, A.
Affiliation: University of South Carolina, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Department of Psychology

Title: Time-Varying Insomnia Symptoms are Associated with Incidence of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in Older US Adults
Authors: Resciniti, N.; Yelverton, V.; Kase, B.; Zhang, J.; Lohman, M.
Affiliation: 1.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 2.Department of Health Services Policy & Management, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

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