Depression morbidity in later life: prevalence and correlates in a developing country.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the one-month prevalence of depression morbidity and its association with sociodemographic characteristics, health and functional status, and use of health services in community residents aged 60 years and over in Brazil. METHODS: This study used a cross-sectional design of face-to-face interviews (N = 7,040) in Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Participants were household residents aged 60 years and older. Measurements included the Short Psychiatric Evaluation Schedule (six-item version) and questionnaire that assessed sociodemographic characteristics, self-reported health status, systemic illnesses, activities of daily living (ADL), use of medical services, and social support. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of depression morbidity was 22% (men: 18%, women: 25.2%). In controlled analyses, younger age, low income, rural origin, never or no longer married, poor self-rated health, presence of systemic illnesses, visual, hearing, or ADL impairments, hospitalization in the past 12 months, and lack of exercise or employment were significantly associated with depression morbidity, whereas living alone was nearly so associated. Gender, education, minority race, or outpatient visits in the previous six months were not associated with depression morbidity. CONCLUSION: The overall prevalence of depression morbidity was among the highest previously reported for older persons. In controlled analyses, prevalence declined as age increased, and rates were higher for those with lower income and poorer social, health, and functional status, but did not differ significantly by gender, education, or race/ethnicity. Increased attention should be paid to identifying depression morbidity in those with adverse circumstances and to identifying ameliorating interventions.
Blay, SL; Andreoli, SB; Fillenbaum, GG; Gastal, FL
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