Sex differences in the relationship between subthreshold depression and mortality in a community sample of older adults.
The authors investigated the increased risk of mortality from subthreshold depression and examined differences in risk by gender. Data from the Duke University Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (EPESE) longitudinal study of 4,162 community-dwelling adults age 65 or older were used for these analyses. Depression was measured with a modified version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Three follow-up periods were assessed, 1986-1989, 1989-1992, and 1992-1996. Using logistic regression, they determined the odds of mortality from both CES-D depression (> or =9 symptoms) and subthreshold depression (6-8 symptoms) by sex for each follow-up period, controlling for sociodemographic factors, physical and cognitive health and functioning, and health behaviors. CES-D depression was not associated with mortality in either men or women. Subthreshold depression was also not associated with mortality in men; in women, however, subthreshold depression was negatively related to mortality (OR=0.60; p=0.002) across the three periods. Subthreshold depression may result in different outcomes in women, possibly mediating against mortality.
Hybels, CF; Pieper, CF; Blazer, DG
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