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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2012 Jun;125(6):492-501. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2011.01801.x. Epub 2011 Nov 25.

Trajectory classes of depressive symptoms in a community sample of older adults.

Author information

1
Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA. mnk@geri.duke.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To identify trajectories of depressive symptoms in older community residents.

METHOD:

Depressive symptomatology, based on a modified Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression scale, was obtained at years 0, 3, 6, and 10, in the Duke Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (n = 4162). Generalized growth mixture models identified the latent class trajectories present. Baseline demographic, health, and social characteristics distinguishing the classes were identified using multinomial logistic regression.

RESULTS:

Four latent class trajectories were identified. Class 1 - stable low depressive symptomatology (76.6% of the sample); class 2 - initially low depressive symptomatology, increasing to the subsyndromal level (10.0%); class 3 - stable high depressive symptomatology (5.4%); class 4 - high depressive symptomatology improving over 6 years before reverting somewhat (8.0%). Class 1 was younger, male gender, with better education, health, and social resources, in contrast to class 3. Class 2 had poorer cognitive functioning and higher death rate. Class 4 had better health and social resources.

CONCLUSION:

Reduction in high depressive symptomatology is associated with more education, better health, fewer stressful events, and a larger social network. Increasing depressive symptomatology is accompanied by poorer physical and cognitive health, more stressful life events, and greater risk of death.

PMID:
22118370
PMCID:
PMC3539152
DOI:
10.1111/j.1600-0447.2011.01801.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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