Impact of social isolation on subsequent peptic ulcer recurrence in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: The role of change in severity of depression

Boye Fang, Huiying Liu, Shuyan Yang, Ruirui Xu, Gengzhen Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: This study aimed to examine the association between social isolation, change in severity of depression, and subsequent recurrence of peptic ulcer disease (PUD) in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Methods: Older adults (≥55 years) with mild cognitive impairment and Helicobacter pylori–infected PUD (N = 2208) were recruited between 2010 and 2014 from 12 hospitals in the People’s Republic of China. H. pylori was eradicated and PUD was cleared in 2015 participants by the end of 2014; 1900 of these were followed up for up to 36 months. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to assess how PUD recurrence varied with social engagement levels and changes in depression severity. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard models were used to examine associations between social isolation, changes in depression severity, and PUD recurrence. Results: PUD recurrence was more prevalent in socially isolated (10.8%) than in socially engaged participants (5.5%). However, the rates of PUD were lower in socially isolated individuals without (absence of) depression (7.2%) and those with decreased depression (8.2%), whereas socially isolated individuals with unchanged and increased depression had substantially higher rates of PUD (16.3% and 17.8%, respectively; the social isolation by depression group for PUD recurrence was significant (p < .001). Specifically, although social isolation was associated with PUD recurrence during the 36-month follow-up period (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.665 [1.602–4.518]), it did not increase PUD recurrence risk in participants without depression or with reduced depression. However, in participants with unchanged or increased depression, PUD recurrence was more likely to occur in socially isolated (HR = 1.587 [1.125–2.588]; HR = 1.886 [1.012, 3.522] respectively) than in socially engaged participants. Conclusions: Social isolation is associated with a greater risk of PUD recurrence; however, the absence of or decreased severity of depression may alter this relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-207
Number of pages11
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

User-Defined Keywords

  • Change in the severity of depression
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Older adults
  • Peptic ulcer disease recurrence
  • Social isolation


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