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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2002 Sep-Oct;10(5):521-30.

Depressive symptoms and mortality in a prospective study of 2,558 older adults.

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Center for Health Services Research, UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, 10920 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA.



The authors report results from a 7-year prospective study of depression and mortality in 2,558 Medicare recipients age 65 and older.


This report is based on a secondary data analysis of a randomized controlled trial that evaluated the cost-effectiveness of preventive services for older enrollees in an HMO.


Subjects with mild-to-moderate depression at baseline did not have an increased risk of mortality compared with those without significant depression. The 3% of older adults with the most severe depressive syndromes, however, had significant increases in mortality, even after adjusting for demographics, health risk behaviors, and chronic medical disorders.


The increase in mortality in this group of older adults was comparable to that in participants with chronic medical disorders such as emphysema or heart disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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