Background Despite considerable interest, there is no consensus regarding the prevalence ofdepression in later life.
Aims To assess the prevalence of late-life depression in the community.
Method A systematic review of community-based studies ofthe prevalence ofdepression in later life (55+). Literature was analysed by level of caseness at which depression was defined and measured.
Results Thirty-four studies eligible for inclusion were found.
The reported prevalence rates vary enormously (0.4-35%). Arranged according to level of caseness, major depression is relatively rare among the elderly (weighted average prevalence 1.8%), minor depression is more common (weighted average prevalence 9.8%), while all depressive syndromes deemed clinically relevant yield an average prevalence of 13.5%. There is consistent evidence for higher prevalence rates for women and among older people living under adverse socio-economic circumstances.
Conclusions Depression is common in later life.
Methodological differences between studies preclude firm conclusions about cross-cultural and geographical variation.
Improving the comparability ofepidemiological research constitutes an important step forward.
Declaration of interest The European Commission BIOMED I Initiative funded this Concerted Action Programme.
Mots-clés Pascal : Etat dépressif, Personne âgée, Homme, Prévalence, Article synthèse, Etude comparative, Epidémiologie, Santé mentale, Communauté, Trouble humeur
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Depression, Elderly, Human, Prevalence, Review, Comparative study, Epidemiology, Mental health, Community, Mood disorder
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 99-0229643
Code Inist : 002B18E. Création : 16/11/1999.