• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of jurbhealthspringer.comThis journalToc AlertsSubmit OnlineOpen ChoiceThis journal
J Urban Health. Sep 2002; 79(3): 373–382.
PMCID: PMC3456783

Risk factors for depression in the survivors of the 1988 Earthquake in Armenia

Abstract

Most studies of psychopathology following disasters are concerned with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The present analyses sought to assess the rate and determinants of depression in adult survivors of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia. Unlike previous studies of earthquakes, the present analyses derive from a well-defined cohort of survivors who undenvent diagnostic interviewing to characterize psychiatric morbidity. As part of a cohort study of 32,743 survivors of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia, a stratified population sample of 1,785 persons was interviewed about 2 years following the disaster using a special questionnaire based on the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Disaster Interview Schedule/Disaster Supplement. 52% met the criteria for major depression. Of these, a total of 177 cases of depression with no other psychiatric diagnosis or comorbidity were compared with 583 controls from the same interviewed group who did not fulfill the criteria for any psychiatric disorder. Cases and controls were compared as to data obtained independently at the aftermath of the disaster on a number of exposures and characteristics related to the earthquake. More of the cases involved females (odds ratio [OR] for males 0.7 [95% confidence interval [CI] 0.5–0.9]) and from the city of Gumri, which had some of the worst destruction (OR for residents of Gumri 5.9 [95% CI 4.0–8.8]). Being with someone in the same building at the moment of the earthquake was protective for depression (OR for presence of other people 0.5 [95% CI 0.3–0.6]), and the risk of depression increased with the amount of loss that the family sustained as a result of the earthquake (OR for highest level of loss 2.5 [95% CI 1.3–4.8]). The use of alcohol was protective for depression (OR for those who drink 0.5 [95% CI 0.3–0.8]). In various models of multivariate adjustment and analysis, the increased risk of depression with loss, geographic location, and female gender was maintained. Also, being with someone during the disaster, receiving assistance and support after the earthquake, and alcohol use were protective for depression in these multivariate analyses. Depression is a common sequel to an earthquake. As with our previous study of PTSD, we were able to relate intensity of the disaster and loss to the risk of depression in a general population sample. The role of social support during and after the disaster as a protective mechanism against adverse psychological outcome was highlighted againt.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (79K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
1. Galea S, Ahern J, Resnick H, et al. Psychological, sequelae of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City. N Engl J Med. 2002;346:982–987. doi: 10.1056/NEJMsa013404. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
2. Sharan P, Chaudhary G, Kavathekar SA, Saxena S. Preliminary report of psychiatric disorders in survivors of a severe earthquake. Am J Psychiatry. 1996;153:556–558. [PubMed]
3. Papadatos Y, Nikou K, Potamianos G. Evaluation of psychiatric morbidity following an earthquake. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 1990;36:131–136. doi: 10.1177/002076409003600206. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
4. Goenjian A. A mental health relief programme in Armenia after the 1988 earthquake. Br J Psychiatry. 1993;163:230–239. doi: 10.1192/bjp.163.2.230. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
5. Shore JH, Tatum EL, Vollmer WM. Psychiatric reactions to disaster: the Mount St. Helens experience. Am J Psychiatry. 1986;143:590–595. [PubMed]
6. Maruyama S, Kwon YS, Morimoto K. Seismic intensity and mental stress after the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake. Environ Health Prev Med. 2001;6:165–169. doi: 10.1007/BF02897965. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
7. Bromet E, Dew MA. Review of psychiatric epidemiologic research on disasters. Epidemiol Rev. 1995;17:113–119. [PubMed]
8. Armenian HK, Morikawa M, Melkonian AK, et al. Loss as a determinant of PTSD in a cohort of adult survivors of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia: implications for policy. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2000;102:58–64. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0447.2000.102001058.x. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
9. Karapetian NK, Agbabian M, Chilingarian GV. Earthquakes of the Armenian Highlands (Seismic Setting) Los Angeles, CA: University of Southern California; 1991. pp. I–I.
10. Multisectoral Study on Disaster and Management Planning in Armenia. Geneva, Switzerland: United Nations Disaster Relief Organization; 1990.
11. Noji EK, Armenian HK, Oganessian A. Issues of rescue and medical care following the 1988 Armenian earthquake. Int J Epidemiol. 1993;22:1070–1076. doi: 10.1093/ije/22.6.1070. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
12. Noji EK, Kelen GD, Armenian HK, et al. The 1988 earthquake in Soviet Armenia: a case study. Ann Emerg Med. 1990;19:891–897. doi: 10.1016/S0196-0644(05)81563-X. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
13. Armenian HK, Noji EK, Oganessian AP. Case control study of injuries due to the earthquake in Soviet Armenia. Bull WHO. 1992;70:251–257. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
14. Armenian HK, Melkonian A, Noji E, Hovanesian AP. Deaths and injuries due to the earthquake in Armenia: a cohort approach. Int J Epidemiol. 1997;26:806–813. doi: 10.1093/ije/26.4.806. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
15. Armenian HK, Melkonian A, Hovanesian AP. Long term mortality related to degree of damage following the 1988 earthquake in Armenia. Am J Epidemiol. 1998;148:1077–1084. [PubMed]
16. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 3rd ed. Washington, DC: APA; 1987.
17. Robins L. Diagnostic Interview Schedule/Disaster Supplement. St. Louis, MO: Washington University; 1987.
18. Solomon SD, Canino GJ. Appropriateness of DSM-III-R criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder. Compr Psychiatry. 1990;31:227–237. doi: 10.1016/0010-440X(90)90006-E. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
19. Baseline Household Health Assessment in Armavir Marz, Armenia. Yerevan, Armenia: American University of Armenia, Center for Health Services Research; 2001.
20. Karam EG. The nosological status of bereavement-related depressions. Br J Psychiatry. 1994;165:48–52. doi: 10.1192/bjp.165.1.48. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
21. Karam EG, Howard DB, Karam AN, et al. Major depression and external stressors: the Lebanon Wars. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1998;248:225–230. doi: 10.1007/s004060050042. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
22. North CS, Nixon SJ, Shariat S, et al. Psychiatric disorders among survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing. JAMA. 1999;282:755–762. doi: 10.1001/jama.282.8.755. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
23. Breslau N, Davis GC, Peterson EL, Schultz LR. A second look at comorbidity in victims of trauma: the posttraumatic stress disorder-major depression connection. Biol Psychiatry. 2000;48:902–909. doi: 10.1016/S0006-3223(00)00933-1. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
24. Bland SH, O'Leary ES, Farinaro E, et al. Social network disturbances and psychological distress following earthquake evacuation. J Nerv Ment Dis. 1997;185:188–194. doi: 10.1097/00005053-199703000-00008. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

Articles from Journal of Urban Health : Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine are provided here courtesy of New York Academy of Medicine

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • MedGen
    MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...