Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Epidemiol. 1999 Jan 15;149(2):116-26.

Psychological disorder and mortality in French older adults: do social relations modify the association?

Author information

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL Medical School, London, Great Britain.


The possible modifying effect of social relations on the association between depression and mortality was examined in a community-based cohort study. A total of 3,777 randomly selected persons 65 years of age and older in southwest France were followed over a 5-year period from 1988 in the Personnes Agees Quid (PAQUID). At study entry, the prevalence of elevated depressive symptomatology was 12.9% for men and 14.7% for women, and the reported relative isolation was 14.1% for men and 26.0% for women. During a total of 16,984 person-years of follow-up, 849 deaths occurred. Among participants with high levels of depressive symptomatology, the age-adjusted mortality rate ratio was 2.10 (95% confidence interval 1.7-2.7) in men and 1.76 (95% confidence interval 1.4-2.3) in women. When compared with individuals with the most connections, men and women with few social network connections were also at increased risk of mortality: age-adjusted rate ratio = 2.69 (95% confidence interval 1.9-3.8) for men and 1.56 (95% confidence interval 1.0-2.4) for women. Satisfaction with social support had a small but nonsignificant effect on mortality risk. For women, the excess risks due to depressive symptoms and few network connections are observed only in the 65- to 74-year age group, after adjusting for health and health behaviors. Social relations did not significantly modify the depression-mortality associations for either men or women, although the depression-mortality effect was reduced by 12.8% in men. The latter findings do not appear to be compatible with the buffering hypothesis, whereby we would expect social relations to decrease the depression-mortality association. Nonetheless, there are independent effects from these two factors, and older men who are depressed and not socially connected are at increased risk of dying earlier.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center