Cognitive Neuroscience​


Journal of Alzheimer’s disease : JAD




Formal publication: August 2023

Authors: Ruiz-Adame, M., Ibañez, A., Mollayeva, T., & Trépel, D.

Abstract: Background: People with high levels of neuroticism are greater users of health services. Similarly, people with dementia have a higher risk of hospitalization and medical visits. As a result, dementia and a high level of neuroticism increase healthcare use (HCU). However, how these joint factors impact the HCU at the population level is unknown. Similarly, no previous study has assessed the degree of generalization of such impacts, considering relevant variables including age, gender, socioeconomic, and country-level variability.

Objective: To examine how neuroticism and dementia interact in the HCU.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed on a sample of 76,561 people (2.4% with dementia) from 27 European countries and Israel. Data were analyzed with six steps multilevel non-binomial regression modeling, a statistical method that accounts for correlation in the data taken within the same participant.

Results: Both dementia (Incidence Rate Ratio (IRR): 1.537; α= 0.000) and neuroticism (IRR: 1.122; α= 0.000) increased the HCU. The effect of having dementia and the level of neuroticism increased the HCU: around 53.67% for the case of having dementia, and 12.05% for each increment in the level of neuroticism. Conversely, high levels of neuroticism in dementia decreased HCU (IRR: 0.962; α= 0.073). These results remained robust when controlling for age, gender, socioeconomic, and country-levels effects.

Conclusion: Contrary to previous findings, neuroticism trait in people with dementia decreases the HCU across sociodemographic, socioeconomic, and country heterogeneity. These results, which take into account this personality trait among people with dementia, are relevant for the planning of health and social services.