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Late-Life Depression: Prevalence and Presentation, Course and Outcome

Stuart A. Montgomery, MD

Published: April 18, 2013

Article Abstract

Late-life depression is a prevalent condition. Elderly individuals often assume that depressive symptoms are a normal consequence of aging, and the standard diagnostic criteria for depression may not be sufficiently sensitive to detect late-life depressive episodes. Consequently, depression, particularly subsyndromal depression, remains underdiagnosed, and high levels of medical comorbidity often confound the diagnosis. Failure to recognize depression in primary care may mean that health services are used inappropriately to determine another cause for the signs and symptoms presented by the elderly patient.

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