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Title: Depressive symptoms among community-dwelling Mexican elderly
Author: Arias-Merino, E.D.
Ortiz, G.G.
Ruvalcaba, N.M.M.
Arias-Merino, M.J.
Velazquez-Brizuela, I.E.
Meda-Lara, R.M.
Morales-Sanchez, A.E.
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: The mood disorders are characterized by alterations in the person's general emotional state. Depression is one of the most common mood disorders experienced by elderly. Depression in elderly has different characteristics than in other life cycle stages. In the process of aging, physical changes can be confused with depressive symptoms. The physiological changes, psychological, social and environment factors are important for the development of depression. Likewise, depressive symptoms in old age have been associated with morbidity, physical dependence, cognitive impairment and dementia. The aim was to determine the prevalence of depression symptoms and its relationship with socio-demographic factors, cognitive function, co-morbidity and physical disabilities among elderly in a Mexican community setting. The Inter-institutional Dementia Project in Jalisco (CONACYT 7994) was taken as the basis for this chapter. This is a cross-sectional study, multi-stage, random, and proportional with the participation of n=2,553 community-dwelling elders 60 and older. A battery of assessment was applied during an interview in which different areas were assessed: Depression (30-item GDS), cognitive function (MMSE), functional status (ADL, IADL), chronic medical conditions and vital risk factors (self-report). The questionnaire included also socio-demographic factors. Data obtained were validated and entered into a database. Crude Odds Ratio and confidence interval of 95% were calculated. Logistic regression models tested the relative contributions of demographic variables, diseases and impairments, and general conditions on depression. It was found a prevalence of 30.9% depressive symptomatology. Mean age of participants was 71.6±8.7 years, mostly women (61.2%). Education level was low, mean was 3.6±3.8 years of education, illiterate 27.2%. 45.5% had no couple, widowed 32.3%, single 8.6%, and divorced 4.6%. Were mainly housewives (41.7%), and 79.2% not pensioners. Functional disability prevalence was 31.5% for IADL, 9.6% in ADL, and 14.3% had cognitive impairment. A mean of 1.5 for chronic diseases was reported. Depressive symptoms were associated in bivariate analysis with being female, cognitive impairment, ADL and IADL disability, co-morbidity, education and being married. Increased age was not related. These results orient to the necessity of prevention and control of the depression in the primary care and to recognize it as a problem of public health. This study gives us the possibility not only to establish a diagnosis and treatment, but also to promote healthy lifestyles and prevention of depression in older people in order to remain active as long as possible and to improve their quality of life. © 2006 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
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