Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 31, Issue 11, pp 1609–1614 | Cite as

Mood, lifestyle and cardiovascular risk factors among older caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease dementia: a case–control study

  • Tatiana Rezende Madaleno
  • Julio C. Moriguti
  • Eduardo Ferriolli
  • Marysia Mara R. P. De Carlo
  • Nereida K. C. LimaEmail author
Original Article



Caregivers may have a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and have high rates of anxiety and depression.


The objective of this study was to evaluate mood, lifestyle and the presence of cardiovascular risk factors in older women caregivers of patients with Alzheimer´s disease (AD) dementia compared to non-caregivers living in the neighborhood.


Paired case–control (1:1). Volunteers responded to a questionnaire with information about physical and leisure activities, smoking, alcohol use, and daily hours of care. Blood pressure (BP) was measured on 5 days with the Home Blood Pressure Monitoring (HBPM) system, and mood was assessed with the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Laboratory testing for cardiovascular risk factors was performed.


Sixty-two volunteers were evaluated. Total cholesterol levels were higher among caregivers, with an odds ratio (OR) of 3.57 (95% CI 1.2–11, p = 0.03). There was no difference in BP. A positive screening for depression was obtained for 58% of caregivers and for 16% of control subjects (OR = 6.62, 95% CI 1.9–22.6, p < 0.01). The MINI revealed that 38.7% of caregivers had an actual depressive episode as compared to 9.7% of controls (9.7%) (OR = 5.42, 95% CI 1.3–22.7, p = 0.02); 35.5% of caregivers and 6% of controls had a diagnosis of anxiety disorder (OR = 4.79, 95% CI 1.2–19.1, p = 0.03).


The cardiovascular risk markers and lifestyle were similar in caregivers and non-caregivers, but there was a higher prevalence of depression and anxiety among caregivers.


Older women caregivers of patients with AD have more mental health symptoms and disorders and need to be treated.


Caregivers Older women Alzheimer’s disease Cardiovascular risk Mood 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of human and animal rights

The study was approved by the local Research Ethics Committee (Protocol: 15538913.5.0000.5414). All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


  1. 1.
    Pinquart M, Sörensen S (2003) Differences between caregivers and noncaregivers in psychological health and physical health: a meta-analysis. Psychol Aging 18:250–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Garcia-Alberca JM, Cruz B, Lara JP et al (2012) Anxiety and depression are associated with coping strategies in caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease patients: results from the MÁLAGA-AD study. Int Psychogeriatr 24:1325–1334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Abdollahpour I, Noroozian M, Nedjat S et al (2012) Caregiver burden and its determinants among the family members of patients with dementia in Iran. Int J Prev Med 3:544–551PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Movardi M, Mattioli P, Spazzafumo L et al (2005) The Caregiver Burden Inventory in evaluating the burden of caregivers of elderly demented patients: results from a multicenter study. Aging Clin Exp Res 17:46–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Beinart N, Weinmman J, Wade D et al (2012) Caregiver burden and psychoeducational interventions in Alzheimer’s disease: a review. Dement Geriatr Cognit Dis Extra 2:638–648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Garzón-Maldonado FJ, Gutiérrez-Bedmar M, García-Casares N et al (2017) Health-related quality of life in caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Neurologia 32:508–515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Corrêa MS, Vedovelli K, Giacobbo BL et al (2015) Psychophysiological correlates of cognitive deficits in family caregivers of patients with Alzheimer Disease. Neuroscience 12:371–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Aschbacher K, Kornfeld S, Picard M et al (2014) Chronic stress increases vulnerability to diet-related abdominal fat, oxidative stress, and metabolic risk. Psychoneuroendocrinology 46:14–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Von Kanel R, Mausbach BT, Dimsdale JE et al (2011) Cardiometabolic effects in caregivers of nursing home placement and death of their spouse with Alzheimer’s disease. J Am Geriatr Soc 59:2037–2044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Atienza AA, Henderson PC, Wilcox S et al (2001) Gender differences in cardiovascular response to dementia caregiving. Gerontologist 41:490–498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mortensen J, Dich N, Lange T et al (2018) Weekly hours of informal caregiving and paid work, and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Eur J Public Health 28:743–747CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Valimak T, Vehvilainem-Julkunen K, Pietila AM et al (2012) Life orientation in Finnish family caregivers’ of persons with Alzheimer’s disease: a diary study. Nurs Health Sci 14:480–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rezende G, Gomes CA, Rugno C et al (2017) Burden on family caregivers of the elderly in oncologic palliative care. Eur Geriatr Med 8:337–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mausbach BT, Chattillion EA, Roepke SK et al (2013) Comparison of psychosocial outcomes in elderly alzheimer caregivers and noncaregivers. Am J Geriatr Psychiatr 21:5–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Morris JC (1993) The Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR): current version and scoring rules. Neurology 43:2412–2414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    DSM-5 (2013) The diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 5th edn. American Psychiatric Association, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Williams B, Mancia G, Spiering W et al (2018) 2018 ESC/ESH Guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension. Eur Heart J 39:3021–3104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Alden D, Austin C, Sturgeon R (1989) A correlation between the Geriatric Depression Scale long and short forms. J Gerontol 44:124–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Amorim P (2000) Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI): validation of a short structured diagnostic psychiatric interview. Braz J of Psychiatr 22:106–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Scazufca M (2002) Brazilian version of the Burden Interview scale for the assessment of burden of care in carers of people with mental illnesses. Braz J Psychiatr 24:12–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Hosmer DW, Lemeshow S (2000) Applied logistic regression, 2nd edn. Wiley, NewYorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lenardt MH, Willig MH, Seima MD et al (2011) The health status and life satisfaction of caregivers of elderly with Alzheimer’s. Colomb Med 42:17–25Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Loi SM, Dow B, Ames D et al (2014) Physical activity in caregivers: what are the psychological benefits? Arch Gerontol Geriatr 59:204–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Goren A, Montgomery W, Kahle-Wrobleski K, Nakamura T et al (2016) Impact of caring for persons with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia on caregivers’ health outcomes: findings from a community based survey in Japan. BMC Geriatrics 16:122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    González-de Paz L, Real J, Borrás-Santos A et al (2016) Associations between informal care, disease, and risk factors: a Spanish country-wide population-based study. J Public Health Policy 37:173–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Luzardo AR, Gorini MIPC, Silva APSS (2006) Characteristics of elderly with Alzheimer´s disease and their caregivers: a series of cases in a Neurogeriatric service. Text Context Nurs 15:587–594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Schüz B, Czerniawski A, Davie N et al (2015) Leisure time activities and mental health in informal dementia caregivers. Appl Psychol Health Well Being 7:230–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Pudelewicz A, Talarska D, Bączyk G (2018) Burden of caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Scand J Caring Sci. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of General Internal and Geriatric Medicine, Ribeirão Preto Medical SchoolUniversity of São PauloRibeirão PretoBrazil

Personalised recommendations