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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2014 Jul;22(7):682-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2013.09.001. Epub 2013 Oct 11.

Race-related differences in depression onset and recovery in older persons over time: the health, aging, and body composition study.

Author information

1
Center on Aging, University of Connecticut, Farmington, CT. Electronic address: LiBarry@uchc.edu.
2
Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD.
3
Department of Psychiatry, VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, CA.
5
Center on Aging, University of Connecticut, Farmington, CT.
6
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, CA.
7
Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN.
8
Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
9
Clinical Research Branch, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, MD.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate race-related differences in depression onset and recovery in older persons, overall and by sex, and examine race-related differences in mortality according to depression.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

General community in pre-designated zip code areas in Memphis, Tennessee, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

PARTICIPANTS:

3,075 persons aged 70-79 years at baseline in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition study.

MEASUREMENTS:

Depression was assessed at eight time points over 10 years using the 10-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale; patients were categorized as nondepressed (score less than 8) or depressed (score of 8 or higher). We created variables for transitions across each 18-month time interval, namely, from nondepressed or depressed to nondepressed, depressed, or death, and determined the association between race and the average likelihood of these transitions over time.

RESULTS:

A higher percentage of blacks than whites were depressed at nearly all time points. Adjusting for demographics, common chronic conditions, and body mass index, blacks had a higher likelihood of experiencing depression onset than whites (odds ratio [OR]: 1.22; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.03-1.43); among men, blacks were more likely to experience depression onset than whites (OR: 1.44; 95% CI: 1.24-2.89). Blacks also had a higher likelihood of transitioning from nondepressed to death (OR: 1.79; 95% CI: 1.30-2.46). Overall and in sex-stratified analyses, race was not associated with recovery from depression or with the transition from depression to death.

CONCLUSION:

Our findings highlight race differences in depression in older persons and encourage further research on the course of depression in older black patients.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; depression; depressive symptoms; epidemiology; prospective studies; race differences

PMID:
24125816
PMCID:
PMC3984378
DOI:
10.1016/j.jagp.2013.09.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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