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Table 3 Results from the two sensitivity analyses to evaluate the robustness of the main findings

From: Subjective cognitive decline, anxiety symptoms, and the risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia

Analyses No. of MCI and dementia / Total (%) Hazard ratio (95% CI)a p value
Sensitivity analysis 1: severity of anxiety (n = 14,066)
 Anxietyb
  No symptoms 2032/12796 (15.9) 1.0 (Ref) Ref
  Mild symptoms 182/908 (20.0) 1.3 (1.1–1.5) 0.004
  Moderate symptoms 55/311 (17.7) 1.4 (1.0–1.9) 0.032
  Severe symptoms 16/51 (31.4) 2.3 (1.3–4.1) 0.004
 SCD
  No 1445/10257 (14.1) 1.0 (Ref) Ref
  Yes 840/3809 (22.1) 1.8 (1.7–2.0) < 0.001
Sensitivity analysis 2: consistency of symptoms in the first 2 years of the study (n = 6926)
 Anxietyc
  No anxiety 707/5982 (11.8) 1.0 (Ref) Ref
  Inconsistent anxiety 130/762 (17.1) 1.6 (1.3–1.9) < 0.001
  Consistent anxiety 34/182 (18.7) 1.7 (1.1–2.6) 0.013
 SCDc
  No SCD 456/4630 (9.9) 1.0 (Ref) Ref
  Inconsistent SCD 237/1459 (16.2) 1.6 (1.3–1.9) < 0.001
  Consistent SCD 178/837 (21.3) 2.5 (2.0–3.0) < 0.001
  1. SCD subjective cognitive decline, CI confidence interval, Ref reference group
  2. aModel adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, years of education, APOE e4 status, current smoking, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, Mini-Mental State Examination score, total score on Geriatric Depression Scale, history of depression, use of antidepressants, and use of anxiolytics
  3. bAnxiety symptoms were included in the analysis as an ordinal variable, based on the severity of symptoms: 0 = not present, 1 = mild (noticeable, but not a significant change), 2 = moderate (significant, but not a dramatic change), and 3 = severe (very marked or prominent; a dramatic change)
  4. cThis analysis was conducted in the subset of participants with normal cognition at year 1 and year 2—those who reported anxiety or SCD at both years were deemed as having “consistent” symptoms, while those who reported anxiety or SCD at either year only were deemed as having “inconsistent” symptoms