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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2009 Sep;17(9):769-81. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181ad4f5a.

Prevalence of mood, anxiety, and substance-abuse disorders for older Americans in the national comorbidity survey-replication.

Author information

  • 1Department of Aging and Mental Health Disparities, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA. agum@fmhi.usf.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Current information on the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among older adults in the United States is lacking. Prevalence of anxiety, mood, and substance disorders was examined by age (18-44, 45-64, 65-74, and 75 years and older) and sex. Covariates of disorders for older adults (65 years and older) were explored.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional epidemiologic study, using data from the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication.

SETTING:

Community-based epidemiologic survey.

PARTICIPANTS:

Representative national sample of community-dwelling adults in the United States.

MEASUREMENTS:

The World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview was used to assess Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition psychiatric disorders.

RESULTS:

Prevalence of 12-month and lifetime mood, anxiety, and substance-use disorders was lower for older adults (65 years and older) than younger age groups: 2.6% for mood disorder, 7.0% for anxiety disorder, 0 for any substance-use disorder, and 8.5% for any of these disorders (for any disorder, 18-44 years = 27.6%, 45-64 years = 22.4%). Among older adults, presence of a 12-month anxiety disorder was associated with female sex, lower education, being unmarried, and three or more chronic conditions. Presence of a 12-month mood disorder was associated with disability. Similar patterns were noted for lifetime disorders (any disorder: 18-44 years = 46.4%, 45-64 years = 43.7%, and 65 years and older = 20.9%).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study documents the continued pattern of lower rates of formal diagnoses for elders. These rates likely underestimate the burden of late-life psychiatric disorders, given the potential for underdiagnosis, clinical significance of subthreshold symptoms, and lack of representation from high-risk older adults (e.g., medically ill, long-term care residents).

PMID:
19700949
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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