Background: Depression in late life is a significant health problem in the United States. This study examined the relationship between depression and alcohol, cigarette use, family history, and sociodemographic factors in older adult primary care patients. Methods: As part of a larger clinical trial, 2,732 patients in 24 primary care offices were recruited to complete a self-administered health screening survey. Depression was assessed using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, Revised (DSM-III-R) criteria for lifetime and current depression. Results: A total of 17.8% of females and 9.4% of males age 60 and over met DSM-III-R criteria for lifetime depression; 10.6% of the females and 5.7% of the males met current depression criteria. Depression was significantly and positively correlated with social contact. Conclusions: Older adults, especially women, should be considered at elevated risk for depression when a family history of mental health problems and self-report of inadequate social connection can be established.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - May 1 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Family Practice