Late-Onset Depression in Elderly Subjects From the Vienna Transdanube Aging (VITA) Study

Nilufar Mossaheb, Silvia Weissgram, Sonja Zehetmayer, Susanne Jungwirth, Michael Rainer, Karl-Heinz Tragl, and Peter Fischer

Published: April 7, 2009

Article Abstract

Objective: To assess whether prevalence of depression increases with age. To determine possible risk factors of late-onset depression.

Method: The Vienna Transdanube Aging (VITA) study is a community-based cohort study investigating every inhabitant of the area on the left shore of the river Danube, in Vienna, Austria, born between May 1925 and June 1926. It includes a thorough neurologic, psychiatric, and neuropsychological battery. Occurrence of a current depressive episode was diagnosed according to a DSM-IV-based questionnaire, the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, and the Short Geriatric Depression Scale. A gerontopsychiatric life events scale was used for the assessment of life events. 1505 subjects were contacted and 606 participated. At baseline, 406 nondemented and never-depressed individuals were included in the study. Follow-up after 30 months was possible in 331 of the 406 participants. Baseline data were collected from May 2000 to December 2002, and 30-month follow-up data were collected from November 2002 to September 2005.

Results: Of the 331 participants who were not depressed at baseline, 31.4% had developed a subsyndromal, minor, or major depressive episode at the 30-month follow-up; 14.2% were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment at follow-up, 42.5% of whom were also diagnosed with new-onset depression. In the multiple analyses, “troubles with relatives” was a significant variable (p =.018, OR = 0.5, 95% CI = 0.28 to 0.89, R2 = 0.16). Summative scores on the Fuld Object Memory Evaluation showed a significant influence (p =.048, OR = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.88 to 0.99, R2 = 0.01) on the occurrence of newly onset depression. None of the other investigated possible risk factors had a significant influence on the new occurrence of depression.

Conclusion: Prevalence of late-onset depression increases with age. Having severe troubles with relatives and pre-existing cognitive impairments may enhance the probability of developing a late-onset depression.

Volume: 70

Quick Links: Depression (MDD)

Continue Reading…

Subscribe to read the entire article

$40.00

Buy this Article as a PDF

Sign-up to stay
up-to-date today!

SUBSCRIBE

Already registered? Sign In

Original Research

Frontothalamic Circuit Abnormalities in Patients With Bipolar Depression and Suicide Attempts

To identify potential markers for suicide risk, this fMRI study looked at neural activity in bipolar depression...

Read More...