Health status and risk for depression among the elderly: a meta-analysis of published literature.Age Ageing 2010; 39(1):23-30AA
the goal of this study was to determine the relationship between health status, including self-rated health status and chronic disease, and risk for depression among the elderly.
MEDLINE, EMBASE and The Cochrane Library Database were used to identify potential studies. The studies were classified into cross-sectional and longitudinal subsets. For each study, the numbers of the total participants, cases (for cross-sectional study) or incident cases (for longitudinal study) of depression in each health status group were extracted and entered into Review Manager 4.2. The quantitative meta-analysis of cross-sectional studies and that of longitudinal studies were performed, respectively. For prevalence and incidence rates of depression, odds risk and relative risk (RR) were calculated, respectively.
the quantitative meta-analysis showed that, compared with the elderly without chronic disease, those with chronic disease had higher risk for depression (RR: 1.53, 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.20-1.97). Compared with the elderly with good self-rated health, those with poor self-rated health had higher risk for depression (RR: 2.40, 95% CI: 1.94-2.97).
despite the methodological limitations of this meta-analysis, both poor self-rated health status and the presence of chronic disease are risk factors for depression among the elderly. In the elderly, poor self-reported health status appears to be more strongly associated with depression than the presence of chronic disease.