Education and risk for late life depression: a meta-analysis of published literature.Int J Psychiatry Med 2010; 40(1):109-24IJ
Less education is commonly viewed as an important risk factor for late life depression. However, this has still not been confirmed. The goal of this study was to determine the relationship between education and risk for depression among the old.
MEDLINE, EMBASE, and The Cochrane Library database were used to identify potential studies. The studies were divided into cross-sectional and longitudinal subsets. The qualitative meta-analysis of cross-sectional studies and that of longitudinal studies were preformed, respectively. For prevalence and incidence rates of depression, odds risk (OR) and relative risk (RR) were calculated, respectively.
Twenty-four cross-sectional and 12 prospective longitudinal studies were included in this review. In this meta-analysis, in the more and less education groups, there were 22,964 and 28,024 subjects and 3032 and 6462 cases of depression, respectively. The qualitative meta-analysis showed that, compared with old people with more education, those with less education had higher risk for depression (odds risk (OR): 1.58, 95% confidence intervals (95% CI): 1.38-1.82; Relative risk (RR): 1.49, 95% CI: 1.16-1.91).
Despite the methodological limitations of this meta-analysis, less education is associated with increase risk of late life depression.