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Depress Anxiety. 2001;14(2):86-93.

Comorbidity of depression and anxiety disorders in later life.

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Intervention Research Centers in Late-Life Mood Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


Since psychiatric disorders differ throughout the lifespan in phenomenology, course, and treatment, there is need for study of comorbidity of such disorders in geriatric populations. Prior findings of low prevalence of comorbid late-life anxiety disorders in depressed elderly are now disputed by recent studies. Risk factors for comorbid late-life depression and anxiety may be different from those for depression without anxiety. Similar to adults, elderly depressives with comorbid anxiety symptoms present with more severe pathology and have a more difficult course of illness, including decreased or delayed treatment response. In this paper, we review the literature on anxiety and depression comorbidity in late life, and we make recommendations for the assessment and treatment of comorbid late-life anxiety and depression. We also recommend directions for future research in the area of psychiatric comorbidity in late life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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