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BACKGROUND: Stressful life events (SLEs) are considered potential risk factors for cognitive disorders. Our objective was to investigate the association between SLEs and cognitive disorders among the elderly people in Central Africa. METHOD: A population-based study was conducted in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the Republic of Congo (ROC). Participants aged ≥65 were interviewed using the Community Screening Interview for Dementia. Those who performed poorly were clinically assessed by neurologists. DSM-IV and Petersen criteria were required for a diagnosis of dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI), respectively. SLEs were assessed through 18 questions about events that occurred during childhood, adulthood and late-life. Sociodemographic, vascular and psychological factors were also documented. Multivariate multinomial logistic regression models were used to estimate the associations. RESULTS: MCI was positively associated with: the total number of SLEs (OR = 1.1, 95% CI: 1.0-1.2), the number of SLEs from the age of 65 (OR = 1.2, 95% CI: 1.0-1.3), the number of SLEs before the age of 16 among non-depressive participants (OR = 1.6, 95% CI: 1.2-2.2) and with a serious illness in a child experienced when the participant was aged 65 or more (OR = 2.8, 95% CI: 1.6-4.6). No association with dementia was observed. CONCLUSION: SLEs were positively associated with MCI but not dementia. More comprehensive studies are needed to further investigate this relationship.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





99 - 107


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Central African Republic, Cognitive Dysfunction, Congo, Dementia, Female, Humans, Life Change Events, Male