DOI: 10.1002/alz.079570 ISSN: 1552-5260

Association between the COVID‐19 restrictions, educational level and depression with the Subjective Memory Complaints in aging people from Latin American countries

Claudia Rivera‐Fernandez, Marcio F. Soto‐Añari, Norman Lopez, Miguel Ramos‐Henderson, Sara Fernández Guinea
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Health Policy
  • Epidemiology



The subjective memory complaints (SMC) are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer´s disease. Its prevalence has linked to emotional status, demographics factors and family neuropsychiatric history (Rabin et al, 2017). In addition, some recent studies have associated it with the restrictions during the pandemic of COVID‐19 (Prommas et al, 2022). Our objective was to analyze these factors with SMC in Latin‐American older people during the lockdown of COVID‐19.


A cross‐sectional study was developed in 10 Latin‐American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. We evaluated 5245 older adults (66.14% women y 33.86% men). The mean age was 69. 6 (SD = 7.28) and the years of schooling was 11 (SD = 5.85). All participants completed the short version of the Yesavage Geriatric Depression Scale, the functional scale AD8 (Alzheimer’s Disease 8) and completed ah‐doc questionnaire about family neuropsychiatry history, demographics and clinical factors. The SMC was tested with the item: ¿Do you think that are you experiencing more forgetfulness than people of your same age? We performed binary logistic regression considering SMC as dependent variable and demographics, family neuropsychiatry history and emotional status as predictors.


1291 (24.61%) of participants manifest SMC, with higher prevalence in Peru and Colombia (x2 = 70.37, p<.001). The family history of depression (OR 1.43, p = .022) and dementia (OR 1.34, p = .038), higher scores of depression (OR 1.37, p<.001) and more age (OR 1.01, p = .028); increase the risk of SMC. On the other hand, having more years of schooling (OR 0.95, p<.001) and more days in confinement (OR = .99, p = .001) seem to reduce the risk of SMC.


The emotional status and the family history of neuropsychiatry disorders, are more associated with SMC. In the opposite way, more years of schooling and more days in quarantine reduced the risk of SMC. We suggest to follow‐up the sample and use wider instruments related to memory complaints and other cognitive domains.

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