Depression and the onset of chronic illness in older adults: a 12-year prospective study.

TitleDepression and the onset of chronic illness in older adults: a 12-year prospective study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsKarakus, MC, Patton, LC
JournalJ Behav Health Serv Res
Date Published2011 Jul
ISSN Number1556-3308
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Age Distribution, Aged, Chronic disease, depression, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Risk Factors, Sex Distribution, Socioeconomic factors, United States

The relationship between depression and development of chronic illness among older adults is not well understood. This study uses data from the Health and Retirement Study to evaluate the relationship between depression at baseline and new onset of chronic illnesses including cancer, heart problems, arthritis, and diabetes. Analysis controlling for demographics (age, gender, race, education), health risk indicators (BMI and smoking), functional limitations (gross motor index, health limitations for work), and income show that working-age older people (ages 50-62) with depression at baseline are at significantly higher risk to develop diabetes, heart problems, and arthritis during the 12-year follow-up. No significant association was found between depression and cancer. Prevention efforts aimed at chronic illnesses among the elderly should recognize the mind-body interaction and focus on preventing or alleviating depression.

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

Chronic illnesses/Older people/Correlation analysis/Mental depression/Experiment/theoretical treatment/Health care industry

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalJ Behav Health Serv Res
Citation Key7665
PubMed ID21293976