Prevalence and predictors of depression in elderly Canadians: The Canadian Study of Health and Aging.
Depression in elderly Canadians is an important but often unrecognized public health problem. Numerous studies have examined depression in the general community, but studies of depression in the elderly have generally been small and limited. The Canadian Study of Health and Aging (CSHA) includes a large and national representation of both the cognitively intact and the cognitively impaired elderly. The current analyses of 2,341 participants from the CSHA who completed a clinical rating scale for depression have two objectives: 1) to determine the prevalence of minor and major depression and 2) to examine the importance of several risk factors. The prevalences of major and minor depression were 2.6 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively, and were higher for females, specifically those in institutions, those who reported that their health problems limited activities, and those with chronic health conditions. Women were more likely to exhibit depression (OR = 3.5; 95% CI: 1.4-8.8) than men, and those with dementia more likely to exhibit depression than those without (OR = 2.4; 95% CI: 0.9-3.1). Depression is a significant mental health problem among elderly Canadians, particularly among women and those with physical limitations. More attention should be paid to the detection and treatment of depression in the elderly, particularly among those most at risk.
Østbye, T; Kristjansson, B; Hill, G; Newman, SC; Brouwer, RN; McDowell, I
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