Diagnosis, epidemiology, and clinical course of geriatric depression
The elderly population is steadily growing. It is projected that the number of persons age 65 and older will more than the double between now and 2050. As this population grows, an increasing percentage of the elderly will experience psychiatric disorders that are not part of the normal aging process. Depression in older adults is common. Although it can be effectively diagnosed and treated, it remains underdiagnosed and undertreated. Depression of late life has significant consequences including increased mortality, cognitive dysfunction, disability, and rehabilitation periods. Additionally, there is growing literature that is uncovering the differences between late-onset and early-onset geriatric depression. This paper will review the epidemiology, diagnosis, and course of geriatric depression.
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