Self-reported poor health risk factor for depression in elderly

January 01, 0001

Self-reported poor health risk factor for depression in elderly

These Chinese authors sought to determine the relationship between health status and depression in the elderly via a systematic review. They examined both the perceived health status and presence of chronic disease. MEDLINE, EMBASE and The Cochrane Library Database were used to identify both cross sectional and longitudinal studies.

The authors report: "the quantitative meta-analysis showed that, compared with the elderly without chronic disease, those with chronic disease had higher risk for depression (RR: 1.53). Compared with the elderly with good self-rated health, those with poor self-rated health had higher risk for depression (RR: 2.40)."

The authors conclude: "despite the methodological limitations of this meta-analysis, both poor self-rated health status and the presence of chronic disease are risk factors for depression among the elderly. In the elderly, poor self-reported health status appears to be more strongly associated with depression than the presence of chronic disease.

This meta-analysis reinforces the link between chronic diseased and mood disorders in geriatric patients, and emphasizes the link with the patients’ perception of their health status and depression.

For the full abstract, click here.

Age and Aging 39(1):23-30, January 2010
© 2010 by the authors
Health status and risk for depression among the elderly: a meta-analysis of published literature. Huang Chang-Quan, Zhang Xue-Mei1, Dong Bi-Rong, Lu Zhen-Chan, Yue Ji-Rong and Liu Qing-Xiu. Correspondence to Dong Bi-Rong:

Category: P. Psychological. Keywords: depression, chronic disease, health status, elderly, geriatric, systematic review with meta-analysis, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 16 February 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.