Clinical correlates of anxious depression among elderly patients with depression.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical correlates of comorbid anxiety and depression in a sample of older patients with major depression. METHODS: 352 patients aged 59 and older with major depression were enrolled in the Study of Depression in Later Life at Duke University, of whom 148 met criteria for lifetime generalized anxiety disorder. Participants completed self-report assessments of performance in basic and instrumental activities of daily living, social support, suicidal ideation, life satisfaction, and stressful life events. Cognitive assessment was done with the Mini-Mental State Examination. RESULTS: The prevalence of lifetime anxiety in our depressed sample was 42%. Patients with anxious depression were significantly younger, and had greater suicidal ideation, more impairment of subjective social support, and more severe depressive symptoms. CONCLUSION: In elderly patients with anxious depression, psychosocial support and suicidal ideation should be assessed. Whether improvement of subjective social support leads to reduction in anxious depression should be investigated.
Jeste, ND; Hays, JC; Steffens, DC
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