Sociodemographic and clinical predictors of mortality in geriatric depression.
OBJECTIVE: It is well documented that depression and early mortality are related, and current research suggests that depression may influence vascular causes of death. The authors report on prospectively observed mortality in elderly depressed patients, comparing differences in sex and vascular risk. METHODS: The subjects were 338 patients with unipolar major depression; patients with neurological or other psychiatric disorders were excluded. All subjects received a clinical evaluation and a standardized interview to establish DSM-III depression diagnosis. The cohort had a mean age of 67.2 years and was followed up at approximately 10 years from last contact. RESULTS: Mortality was associated with older age, older age at depression onset, and being male. Also, in men, mortality was associated with higher baseline CES-D scores, and, in women, with having a higher vascular risk rating or late age at depression onset. CONCLUSION: This is the first study demonstrating a gender-by-vascular condition interaction effect on mortality. Women with vascular risk factors may require closer follow-up to control vascular conditions. The relationship between greater depression and increased mortality risk among men is interesting, and further studies will be required to replicate and understand it.
Steffens, DC; Levy, RM; Wagner, R; McQuoid, DR; Krishnan, KRR; Carroll, BJ
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