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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002 Sep;50(9):1549-56.

Depressive symptoms and self-rated health in community-dwelling older adults: a longitudinal study.

Author information

1
Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland 20814, USA. bhan@hrsa.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To test whether baseline depressive symptoms in older adults increase the risk of subsequent decline in self-rated health and decrease the likelihood of subsequent improvement in self-rated health.

DESIGN:

A 2-year prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

Six thousand seven hundred fourteen community-dwelling older persons who completed the first and second wave of the Asset and Health Dynamics among the Oldest-Old Survey in the United States.

PARTICIPANTS:

Community-dwelling older people in the United States.

MEASUREMENTS:

Baseline depressive symptoms were measured using a short-form of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Self-rated health was measured using a single item of global health rating.

RESULTS:

After adjustment for covariates, a high burden of depressive symptoms at baseline was predictive of greater decline in self-rated health (odds ratio (OR) for decline in those with high burden of depressive symptoms vs those without = 1.47, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.26-1.70). Likewise, high burden of depressive symptoms at baseline predicted less improvement in self-rated health (OR for improvement in those with high burden of depressive symptoms vs those without = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.50-0.65).

CONCLUSIONS:

Depressive symptomatology is an independent risk factor for subsequent changes in self-rated health in older adults. Thus, early prevention and intervention of depressive symptoms in community-dwelling older adults might be critical to promote and maintain their self-rated health.

PMID:
12383153
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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