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J Affect Disord. 2011 Oct;133(3):499-508. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.04.048. Epub 2011 May 26.

Trajectory of depression symptoms and related factors in later life--a population based study.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan, Republic of China.



A number of studies of elderly depression have examined the association between depression and its related factors; however, they did not observe how the development of related factors influenced elderly depression over time. This study aims to understand the rising trajectory of depressive symptoms found in elderly male and female, and whether the causation of depression due to related factors would be heterogeneous between male and female over a decade from 1993 to 2003.


This study uses the data from the "Survey of Health and Living Status of the Elderly in Taiwan". A total of 1017 elderly Taiwanese, aged 60 and over, completed four survey modules. The latent growth curve model and general growth mixture model were used to identify the trajectories of depression symptoms, and to assess their related factors in the elderly male and female in Taiwan during the 10 year survey study.


The results showed that a rising trajectory of depressive symptoms came about for both Taiwan elderly male and female over ten years. We also found that in the trajectories of depressive symptoms between elderly male and female across four waves of data, the results were heterogeneous. The trajectory of depressive symptoms in males was affected by perceived health and disability; the trajectory of depressive symptoms in females was influenced by disability and social support.


These findings demonstrated that the final depressive symptoms of the elderly would differ from the elderly with developmentally different depressive related factors. The findings also highlighted the developmental trajectories of depressive symptom in terms of their related factors in the elderly.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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