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Original Research

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Dementia Risk: A Nationwide Longitudinal Study

Mu-Hong Chen, MD, PhDa,b; Chih-Ming Cheng, MDa,b; Shih-Jen Tsai, MDa,b; Chia-Fen Tsai, MDa,b; Tung-Ping Su, MDa,b,c; Cheng-Ta Li, MD, PhDa,b; Wei-Chen Lin, MDa,b; Tzeng-Ji Chen, MD, PhDd,e; and Ya-Mei Bai, MD, PhDa,b,*

Published: May 11, 2021


Background: Several case reports have suggested an association between obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and dementia. However, the exact relationship remains unclear.

Methods: Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 1,347 patients with OCD (ICD-9-CM code 300.3) aged ≥ 45 years and 13,470 controls matched for age, sex, residence, income, and dementia-related comorbidities were included between 1996 and 2013 for investigation of subsequent dementia from enrollment to the end of 2013. Stratified Cox regression analysis on each matched pair was applied to assess the dementia risk between the OCD and control groups. The analysis for the current study was performed in 2018.

Results: Patients with OCD had increased risk of developing any dementia (hazard ratio [HR] = 4.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.96–6.21), Alzheimer’s disease (HR = 4.04; 95% CI, 1.55–10.54), and vascular dementia (HR = 3.95; 95% CI, 1.70–9.18) compared with controls.

Discussion: Future research on the pathogenic mechanisms and molecular underpinnings of the relationship between OCD and dementia may lead to the development of novel therapeutics.

Volume: 82

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