Minor and Major Depression and the Risk of Death in Older Persons

Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Archives of General Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 14.48). 10/1999; 56(10):889-95. DOI: 10.1001/archpsyc.56.10.889
Source: PubMed


The association between depression and mortality in older community-dwelling populations is still unresolved. This study determined the effect of both minor and major depression on mortality and examined the role of confounding and explanatory variables on this relationship.
A cohort of 3056 men and women from the Netherlands aged 55 to 85 years were followed up for 4 years. Major depression was defined according to DSM-III criteria by means of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule. Minor depression was defined as clinically relevant depression (defined by a Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression score > or = 16) not fulfilling diagnostic criteria for major depression.
After adjustment for confounding variables (sociodemographics, health status), men with minor depression had a 1.80-fold higher risk of death (95% confidence interval, 1.35-2.39) during follow-up than nondepressed men. In women, minor depression did not significantly increase the mortality risk. Irrespective of sex, major depression was associated with a 1.83-fold higher mortality risk (95% confidence interval, 1.09-3.10) after adjustment for sociodemographics and health status. Health behaviors such as smoking and physical inactivity explained only a small part of the excess mortality risk associated with depression.
Even after adjustment for sociodemographics, health status, and health behaviors, minor depression in older men and major depression in both older men and women increase the risk of dying.

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    Psychophysiology 09/2015; DOI:10.1111/psyp.12541 · 3.18 Impact Factor
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    • "In fact, the risk for suicide among people with major depression is around 20 times higher than individuals without a diagnosis of depression (American Association of Suicidology, 2010). Other research has found that depression itself is a risk factor for dying among older persons (Penninx et al., 1999). However , like the majority of research on behavioral health, these rates were based on samples drawn from non- AI6 AN populations (Blazer, 2003; Chapleski et al., 2004). "
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    • "Unfortunately, SI is not assessed in H-EPESE, but Pd was a unique predictor of self-rated QOL and health status. Self-rated health and QOL are potent predictors of mortality [39,40] as is major depression [41,42], subsyndromal depressive symptoms [43,44] and depressive personality traits [45]. Pd could potentially mediate their associations with mortality in H-EPESE [46]. "
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