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1.  Prevalence, Distribution, and Impact of Mild Cognitive Impairment in Latin America, China, and India: A 10/66 Population-Based Study 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(2):e1001170.
A set of cross-sectional surveys carried out in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, China, and India reveal the prevalence and between-country variation in mild cognitive impairment at a population level.
Background
Rapid demographic ageing is a growing public health issue in many low- and middle-income countries (LAMICs). Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a construct frequently used to define groups of people who may be at risk of developing dementia, crucial for targeting preventative interventions. However, little is known about the prevalence or impact of MCI in LAMIC settings.
Methods and Findings
Data were analysed from cross-sectional surveys established by the 10/66 Dementia Research Group and carried out in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, China, and India on 15,376 individuals aged 65+ without dementia. Standardised assessments of mental and physical health, and cognitive function were carried out including informant interviews. An algorithm was developed to define Mayo Clinic amnestic MCI (aMCI). Disability (12-item World Health Organization disability assessment schedule [WHODAS]) and informant-reported neuropsychiatric symptoms (neuropsychiatric inventory [NPI-Q]) were measured. After adjustment, aMCI was associated with disability, anxiety, apathy, and irritability (but not depression); between-country heterogeneity in these associations was only significant for disability. The crude prevalence of aMCI ranged from 0.8% in China to 4.3% in India. Country differences changed little (range 0.6%–4.6%) after standardization for age, gender, and education level. In pooled estimates, aMCI was modestly associated with male gender and fewer assets but was not associated with age or education. There was no significant between-country variation in these demographic associations.
Conclusions
An algorithm-derived diagnosis of aMCI showed few sociodemographic associations but was consistently associated with higher disability and neuropsychiatric symptoms in addition to showing substantial variation in prevalence across LAMIC populations. Longitudinal data are needed to confirm findings—in particular, to investigate the predictive validity of aMCI in these settings and risk/protective factors for progression to dementia; however, the large number affected has important implications in these rapidly ageing settings.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Currently, more than 35 million people worldwide have dementia, a group of brain disorders characterized by an irreversible decline in memory, problem solving, communication, and other “cognitive” functions. Dementia, the commonest form of which is Alzheimer's disease, mainly affects older people and, because more people than ever are living to a ripe old age, experts estimate that, by 2050, more than 115 million people will have dementia. At present, there is no cure for dementia although drugs can be used to manage some of the symptoms. Risk factors for dementia include physical inactivity, infrequent participation in mentally or socially stimulating activities, and common vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking. In addition, some studies have reported that mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is associated with an increased risk of dementia. MCI can be seen as an intermediate state between normal cognitive aging (becoming increasingly forgetful) and dementia although many people with MCI never develop dementia, and some types of MCI can be static or self-limiting. Individuals with MCI have cognitive problems that are more severe than those normally seen in people of a similar age but they have no other symptoms of dementia and are able to look after themselves. The best studied form of MCI—amnestic MCI (aMCI)—is characterized by memory problems such as misplacing things and forgetting appointments.
Why Was This Study Done?
Much of the expected increase in dementia will occur in low and middle income countries (LAMICs) because these countries have rapidly aging populations. Given that aMCI is frequently used to define groups of people who may be at risk of developing dementia, it would be useful to know what proportion of community-dwelling older adults in LAMICs have aMCI (the prevalence of aMCI). Such information might help governments plan their future health care and social support needs. In this cross-sectional, population-based study, the researchers estimate the prevalence of aMCI in eight LAMICs using data collected by the 10/66 Dementia Research Group. They also investigate the association of aMCI with sociodemographic factors (for example, age, gender, and education), disability, and neuropsychiatric symptoms such as anxiety, apathy, irritability, and depression. A cross-sectional study collects data on a population at a single time point; the 10/66 Dementia Research Group is building an evidence base to inform the development and implementation of policies for improving the health and social welfare of older people in LAMICs, particularly people with dementia.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In cross-sectional surveys carried out in six Latin American LAMICS, China, and India, more than 15,000 elderly individuals without dementia completed standardized assessments of their mental and physical health and their cognitive function. Interviews with relatives and carers provided further details about the participant's cognitive decline and about neuropsychiatric symptoms. The researchers developed an algorithm (set of formulae) that used the data collected in these surveys to diagnose aMCI in the study participants. Finally, they used statistical methods to analyze the prevalence, distribution, and impact of aMCI in the eight LAMICs. The researchers report that aMCI was associated with disability, anxiety, apathy, and irritability but not with depression and that the prevalence of aMCI ranged from 0.8% in China to 4.3% in India. Other analyses show that, considered across all eight countries, aMCI was modestly associated with being male (men had a slightly higher prevalence of aMCI than women) and with having fewer assets but was not associated with age or education.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that aMCI, as diagnosed using the algorithm developed by the researchers, is consistently associated with higher disability and with neuropsychiatric symptoms in the LAMICs studied but not with most sociodemographic factors. Because prevalidated and standardized measurements were applied consistently in all the countries and a common algorithm was used to define aMCI, these findings also suggest that the prevalence of aMCI varies markedly among LAMIC populations and is similar to or slightly lower than the prevalence most often reported for European and North American populations. Although longitudinal studies are now needed to investigate the extent to which aMCI can be used as risk marker for further cognitive decline and dementia in these settings, the large absolute numbers of older people with aMCI in LAMICs revealed here potentially has important implications for health care and social service planning in these rapidly aging and populous regions of the world.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001170.
Alzheimer's Disease International is the international federation of Alzheimer associations around the world; it provides links to individual associations, information about dementia, and links to three World Alzheimer Reports; information about the 10/66 Dementia Research Group is also available on this web site
The Alzheimer's Society provides information for patients and carers about dementia, including information on MCI and personal stories about living with dementia
The Alzheimer's Association also provides information for patients and carers about dementia and about MCI, and personal stories about dementia
A BBC radio program that includes an interview with a man with MCI is available
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources about MCI and dementia (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001170
PMCID: PMC3274506  PMID: 22346736
2.  Depression among older adults in the United States and England 
Context
Depression negatively affects health and well-being among older adults, but there have been no nationally representative comparisons of depression prevalence among older adults in England and the United States.
Objective
We sought to compare depressive symptoms among older adults in these countries and identify sociodemographic and clinical correlates of depression in these countries.
Design and Setting
We assessed depressive symptoms in non-Hispanic whites aged 65 and over in 2002 in two nationally representative, population-based studies: the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).
Participants
8,295 HRS respondents and 5,208 ELSA respondents.
Main Outcome Measures
We measured depressive symptoms using the eight-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). We determined whether depressive symptom differences between the US and England were associated with sociodemographic characteristics, chronic health conditions, and health behaviors.
Results
Significant depressive symptoms (CES-D score ≥4) were more prevalent in English than US adults (17.6% vs. 14.6%, adjusted Wald test F(1, 1593) = 11.4, p<0.001). Adjusted rates of depressive symptoms in England were 19% higher compared to the US (OR: 1.19, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.40). US adults had higher levels of education, and net worth, but lower levels of ADL/IADL impairments, tobacco use, and cognitive impairment, which may have contributed to relatively lower levels of depressive symptoms in the US.
Conclusions
Older adults in the US had lower rates of depressive symptoms than their English counterparts despite having more chronic health conditions. Future cross-national studies should identify how depression treatment influences outcomes in these populations.
doi:10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181dba6d2
PMCID: PMC3786867  PMID: 20808088
depression; Health and Retirement Study English Longitudinal Study of Ageing; older adults
3.  Effect of Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea on Depressive Symptoms: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(11):e1001762.
In a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, Matthew James and colleagues investigate the effects of continuous positive airway pressure or mandibular advancement devices on depression.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, and decreased quality of life. Treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or mandibular advancement devices (MADs) is effective for many symptoms of OSA. However, it remains controversial whether treatment with CPAP or MAD also improves depressive symptoms.
Methods and Findings
We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that examined the effect of CPAP or MADs on depressive symptoms in patients with OSA. We searched Medline, EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials, and PsycINFO from the inception of the databases until August 15, 2014, for relevant articles.
In a random effects meta-analysis of 19 identified trials, CPAP treatment resulted in an improvement in depressive symptoms compared to control, but with significant heterogeneity between trials (Q statistic, p<0.001; I2 = 71.3%, 95% CI: 54%, 82%). CPAP treatment resulted in significantly greater improvement in depressive symptoms in the two trials with a higher burden of depression at baseline (meta-regression, p<0.001). The pooled standardized mean difference (SMD) in depressive symptoms with CPAP treatment in these two trial populations with baseline depression was 2.004 (95% CI: 1.387, 2.621), compared to 0.197 (95% CI: 0.059, 0.334) for 15 trials of populations without depression at baseline. Pooled estimates of the treatment effect of CPAP were greater in parallel arm trials than in crossover trials (meta-regression, p = 0.076). Random effects meta-analysis of five trials of MADs showed a significant improvement in depressive symptoms with MADs versus controls: SMD = 0.214 (95% CI: 0.026, 0.401) without significant heterogeneity (I2 = 0%, 95% CI: 0%, 79%). Studies were limited by the use of depressive symptom scales that have not been validated specifically in people with OSA.
Conclusions
CPAP and MADs may be useful components of treatment of depressive symptoms in individuals with OSA and depression. The efficacy of CPAP and MADs compared to standard therapies for depression is unknown.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep-related breathing disorder that is particularly common among middle-aged and elderly people, although most are unaware that they have the condition. It is characterized by the occurrence of numerous brief (ten seconds or so) breathing interruptions during sleep. These “apneas” occur when relaxation of the upper airway muscles decreases airflow, which lowers the level of oxygen in the blood. Consequently, affected individuals are frequently aroused from deep sleep as they struggle to breathe. Symptoms of OSA include loud snoring and daytime sleepiness. Treatments include lifestyle changes such as losing weight (excess fat around the neck increases airway collapse) and smoking cessation. Mild to moderate OSA can also be treated using a mandibular advancement device (MAD), a “splint” that fits inside the mouth and pushes the jaw and tongue forward to increase the space at the back of the throat and reduce airway narrowing. For severe OSA, doctors recommend continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), in which a machine blows pressurized air into the airway through a facemask to keep it open.
Why Was This Study Done?
OSA is a serious condition that is associated with an increased risk of illness and death. Clinical depression (long-lasting, overwhelming feelings of sadness and hopelessness), for example, is common among people with OSA. The interaction between these frequently co-morbid (co-existing) conditions is complex. The sleep disruption and weight gain that are often associated with depression could cause or worsen OSA. Conversely, OSA could trigger depression by causing sleep disruption and by inducing cognitive changes (changes in thinking) by intermittently starving the brain of oxygen. If the latter scenario is correct, then treating OSA with CPAP or MADs might improve depressive symptoms. Several trials have investigated this possibility, but their results have been equivocal. Here, the researchers undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that have examined the effect of CPAP or MADs on depressive symptoms in patients with OSA to find out whether treating co-morbid OSA in patients with depression can help to treat depression. A randomized controlled trial compares the outcomes of individuals chosen to receive different interventions through the play of chance, a systematic review uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic, and meta-analysis uses statistical methods to combine the results of several studies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 22 trials that investigated the effects of CPAP or MAD treatment in patients with OSA and that measured depressive symptoms before and after treatment. Meta-analysis of the results of 19 trials that provided information about the effect of CPAP on depressive symptoms indicated that CPAP improved depressive symptoms compared to the control intervention (usually sham CPAP) but revealed considerable heterogeneity (variability) between trials. Notably, CPAP treatment resulted in a greater improvement in depressive symptoms in trials in which there was a high prevalence of depression at baseline than in trials in which there was a low prevalence of depression at baseline. Moreover, the magnitude of this improvement in depressive symptoms in trials with a high prevalence of depression at baseline was large enough to be clinically relevant. Meta-analysis of five trials that provided information about the effect of MADs on depressive symptoms indicated that MADs also improved depressive symptoms compared to the control intervention (sham MAD).
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that both CPAP and MAD treatment for OSA can result in modest improvements in depressive symptoms and that populations with high initial levels of depressive symptoms may reap the greatest benefits of CPAP treatment. These findings give no indication of the efficacy of CPAP and MADs compared to standard treatments for depression such as antidepressant medications. Moreover, their accuracy may be limited by methodological limitations within the trials included in the meta-analyses reported here. For example, the questionnaires used to measure depression in these trials were not validated for use in people with OSA. Further high-quality randomized controlled trials are therefore needed to confirm the findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis. For now, however, these findings suggest that the use of CPAP and MADs may help improve depressive symptoms among people with OSA.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001762.
The US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has information (including several videos) about sleep apnea (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information and personal stories about obstructive sleep apnea and depression
The not-for-profit American Sleep Apnea Association provides detailed information about sleep apnea for patients and healthcare professionals, including personal stories about the condition
The US National Institute of Mental Health provides information on all aspects of depression (in English and Spanish)
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America provides information about sleep disorders
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has a page on obstructive sleep apnea; MedlinePlus provides links to further information and advice about obstructive sleep apnea and about depression (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001762
PMCID: PMC4244041  PMID: 25423175
4.  Burden of Depressive Disorders by Country, Sex, Age, and Year: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(11):e1001547.
In this paper, Ferrari and colleagues analyzed the burden of depressive disorders in GBD 2010 and identified depressive disorders as a leading cause of burden. The authors present severity proportions; burden by country, region, age, sex, and year; as well as burden of depressive disorders as a risk factor for suicide and ischemic heart disease.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Depressive disorders were a leading cause of burden in the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 1990 and 2000 studies. Here, we analyze the burden of depressive disorders in GBD 2010 and present severity proportions, burden by country, region, age, sex, and year, as well as burden of depressive disorders as a risk factor for suicide and ischemic heart disease.
Methods and Findings
Burden was calculated for major depressive disorder (MDD) and dysthymia. A systematic review of epidemiological data was conducted. The data were pooled using a Bayesian meta-regression. Disability weights from population survey data quantified the severity of health loss from depressive disorders. These weights were used to calculate years lived with disability (YLDs) and disability adjusted life years (DALYs). Separate DALYs were estimated for suicide and ischemic heart disease attributable to depressive disorders.
Depressive disorders were the second leading cause of YLDs in 2010. MDD accounted for 8.2% (5.9%–10.8%) of global YLDs and dysthymia for 1.4% (0.9%–2.0%). Depressive disorders were a leading cause of DALYs even though no mortality was attributed to them as the underlying cause. MDD accounted for 2.5% (1.9%–3.2%) of global DALYs and dysthymia for 0.5% (0.3%–0.6%). There was more regional variation in burden for MDD than for dysthymia; with higher estimates in females, and adults of working age. Whilst burden increased by 37.5% between 1990 and 2010, this was due to population growth and ageing. MDD explained 16 million suicide DALYs and almost 4 million ischemic heart disease DALYs. This attributable burden would increase the overall burden of depressive disorders from 3.0% (2.2%–3.8%) to 3.8% (3.0%–4.7%) of global DALYs.
Conclusions
GBD 2010 identified depressive disorders as a leading cause of burden. MDD was also a contributor of burden allocated to suicide and ischemic heart disease. These findings emphasize the importance of including depressive disorders as a public-health priority and implementing cost-effective interventions to reduce its burden.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Depressive disorders are common mental disorders that occur in people of all ages across all world regions. Depression—an overwhelming feeling of sadness and hopelessness that can last for months or years—can make people feel that life is no longer worth living. People affected by depression lose interest in the activities they used to enjoy and can also be affected by physical symptoms such as disturbed sleep. Major depressive disorder (MDD, also known as clinical depression) is an episodic disorder with a chronic (long-term) outcome and increased risk of death. It involves at least one major depressive episode in which the affected individual experiences a depressed mood almost all day, every day for at least 2 weeks. Dysthymia is a milder, chronic form of depression that lasts for at least 2 years. People with dysthymia are often described as constantly unhappy. Both these subtypes of depression (and others such as that experienced in bipolar disorder) can be treated with antidepressant drugs and with talking therapies.
Why Was This Study Done?
Depressive disorders were a leading cause of disease burden in the 1990 and 2000 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) studies, collaborative scientific efforts that quantify the health loss attributable to diseases and injuries in terms of disability adjusted life years (DALYs; one DALY represents the loss of a healthy year of life). DALYs are calculated by adding together the years of life lived with a disability (YLD, a measure that includes a disability weight factor reflecting disease severity) and the years of life lost because of disorder-specific premature death. The GBD initiative aims to provide data that can be used to improve public-health policy. Thus, knowing that depressive disorders are a leading cause of disease burden worldwide has helped to prioritize depressive disorders in global public-health agendas. Here, the researchers analyze the burden of MDD and dysthymia in GBD 2010 by country, region, age, and sex, and calculate the burden of suicide and ischemic heart disease attributable to depressive disorders (depression is a risk factor for suicide and ischemic heart disease). GBD 2010 is broader in scope than previous GBD studies and quantifies the direct burden of 291 diseases and injuries and the burden attributable to 67 risk factors across 187 countries.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers collected data on the prevalence, incidence, remission rates, and duration of MDD and dysthymia and on the excess deaths caused by these disorders from published articles. They pooled these data using a statistical method called Bayesian meta-regression and calculated YLDs for MDD and dysthymia using disability weights collected in population surveys. MDD accounted for 8.2% of global YLDs in 2010, making it the second leading cause of YLDs. Dysthymia accounted for 1.4% of global YLDs. MDD and dysthymia were also leading causes of DALYs, accounting for 2.5% and 0.5% of global DALYs, respectively. The regional variation in the burden was greater for MDD than for dysthymia, the burden of depressive disorders was higher in women than men, the largest proportion of YLDs from depressive disorders occurred among adults of working age, and the global burden of depressive disorders increased by 37.5% between 1990 and 2010 because of population growth and ageing. Finally, MDD explained an additional 16 million DALYs and 4 million DALYs when it was considered as a risk factor for suicide and ischemic heart disease, respectively. This “attributable” burden increased the overall burden of depressive disorders to 3.8% of global DALYs.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings update and extend the information available from GBD 1990 and 2000 on the global burden of depressive disorders. They confirm that depressive disorders are a leading direct cause of the global disease burden and show that MDD also contributes to the burden allocated to suicide and ischemic heart disease. The estimates of the global burden of depressive disorders reported in GBD 2010 are likely to be more accurate than those in previous GBD studies but are limited by factors such as the sparseness of data on depressive disorders from developing countries and the validity of the disability weights used to calculate YLDs. Even so, these findings reinforce the importance of treating depressive disorders as a public-health priority and of implementing cost-effective interventions to reduce their ubiquitous burden.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001547.
The US National Institute of Mental Health provides information on all aspects of depression
The UK National Health Service Choices website also provides detailed information about depression and includes personal stories about depression
More personal stories about depression are available from healthtalkonline.org
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about depression (in English and Spanish)
The World Health Organization provides information on depression and on the global burden of disease (in several languages)
Information about the Global Burden of Disease initiative is available
beyondblue provides many resources on depression
The Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research provides information on epidemiology and the global burden of disease specifically for mental disorders
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001547
PMCID: PMC3818162  PMID: 24223526
5.  Vascular depression prevalence and epidemiology in the United States 
Journal of psychiatric research  2012;46(4):456-461.
Objective
To examine and describe vascular depression epidemiology in the United States.
Methods
Cross-sectional data from a national probability sample of household resident adults (18-years and older; N = 16,423) living in the 48 coterminous United States were analyzed to calculate prevalence estimates of vascular depression, associated disability and treatment rates. In this study, vascular depression was defined as the presence of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease (CVD) and CVD major risk factors (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and obesity) among adults 50-years and older who also met 12-month DSM-IV major depression criteria.
Results
We estimated that about 3.4% or approximately 2.64 million American adults 50-years and older met our criteria for vascular depression. Among adults who met criteria for lifetime major depression, over one-in-five (22.1%) were considered to have the vascular depression subtype. Secondly, vascular depression was associated with significantly increased functional impairment relative to the non-depressed population and adults meeting criteria for major depression alone. Although depression care use was significantly higher among vascular depression respondents relative to those with major depression alone, practice guideline concordant therapy use was not.
Conclusions
Vascular depression appears to be an important public health problem that affects a large portion of the U.S. adult population with major depression, and that it is associated with excess functional impairment without concomitant better depression care.
doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2012.01.011
PMCID: PMC3447181  PMID: 22277303
Major depressive disorder; Depression; Vascular depression; Epidemiology; Cardiovascular disease; Stroke
6.  The Kimberley Assessment of Depression of Older Indigenous Australians: Prevalence of Depressive Disorders, Risk Factors and Validation of the KICA-dep Scale 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94983.
Objective
This study aimed to develop a culturally acceptable and valid scale to assess depressive symptoms in older Indigenous Australians, to determine the prevalence of depressive disorders in the older Kimberley community, and to investigate the sociodemographic, lifestyle and clinical factors associated with depression in this population.
Methods
Cross-sectional survey of adults aged 45 years or over from six remote Indigenous communities in the Kimberley and 30% of those living in Derby, Western Australia. The 11 linguistic and culturally sensitive items of the Kimberley Indigenous Cognitive Assessment of Depression (KICA-dep) scale were derived from the signs and symptoms required to establish the diagnosis of a depressive episode according to the DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10 criteria, and their frequency was rated on a 4-point scale ranging from ‘never’ to ‘all the time’ (range of scores: 0 to 33). The diagnosis of depressive disorder was established after a face-to-face assessment with a consultant psychiatrist. Other measures included sociodemographic and lifestyle factors, and clinical history.
Results
The study included 250 participants aged 46 to 89 years (mean±SD = 60.9±10.7), of whom 143 (57.2%) were women. The internal reliability of the KICA-dep was 0.88 and the cut-point 7/8 (non-case/case) was associated with 78% sensitivity and 82% specificity for the diagnosis of a depressive disorder. The point-prevalence of a depressive disorder in this population was 7.7%; 4.0% for men and 10.4% for women. Heart problems were associated with increased odds of depression (odds ratio = 3.3, 95% confidence interval = 1.2,8.8).
Conclusions
The KICA-dep has robust psychometric properties and can be used with confidence as a screening tool for depression among older Indigenous Australians. Depressive disorders are common in this population, possibly because of increased stressors and health morbidities.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094983
PMCID: PMC3989269  PMID: 24740098
7.  Domestic Violence and Perinatal Mental Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(5):e1001452.
Louise Howard and colleagues conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the prevalence and odds of experience of domestic violence experience among women with antenatal and postnatal mental health disorders.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Domestic violence in the perinatal period is associated with adverse obstetric outcomes, but evidence is limited on its association with perinatal mental disorders. We aimed to estimate the prevalence and odds of having experienced domestic violence among women with antenatal and postnatal mental disorders (depression and anxiety disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD], eating disorders, and psychoses).
Methods and Findings
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis (PROSPERO reference CRD42012002048). Data sources included searches of electronic databases (to 15 February 2013), hand searches, citation tracking, update of a review on victimisation and mental disorder, and expert recommendations. Included studies were peer-reviewed experimental or observational studies that reported on women aged 16 y or older, that assessed the prevalence and/or odds of having experienced domestic violence, and that assessed symptoms of perinatal mental disorder using a validated instrument. Two reviewers screened 1,125 full-text papers, extracted data, and independently appraised study quality. Odds ratios were pooled using meta-analysis.
Sixty-seven papers were included. Pooled estimates from longitudinal studies suggest a 3-fold increase in the odds of high levels of depressive symptoms in the postnatal period after having experienced partner violence during pregnancy (odds ratio 3.1, 95% CI 2.7–3.6). Increased odds of having experienced domestic violence among women with high levels of depressive, anxiety, and PTSD symptoms in the antenatal and postnatal periods were consistently reported in cross-sectional studies. No studies were identified on eating disorders or puerperal psychosis. Analyses were limited because of study heterogeneity and lack of data on baseline symptoms, preventing clear findings on causal directionality.
Conclusions
High levels of symptoms of perinatal depression, anxiety, and PTSD are significantly associated with having experienced domestic violence. High-quality evidence is now needed on how maternity and mental health services should address domestic violence and improve health outcomes for women and their infants in the perinatal period.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Domestic violence—physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by an intimate partner or family member—is a major public health problem and although more common in women, can also affect men. Due to the nature of the problem, it is difficult to collect accurate figures on the scale of domestic violence, but a study by the World Health Organization in ten countries found that 15%–71% of women aged 15–49 years reported physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. Women experiencing domestic violence have significant short- and long-term health problems, particularly regarding their mental health: experience of domestic violence can lead to a range of mental health disorders such as depression, psychosis, eating disorders, and even suicide attempts.
Why Was This Study Done?
As perinatal mental health disorders are among the commonest health problems in pregnancy and the postpartum period, and given the rate of domestic violence during pregnancy (previous studies have suggested a domestic violence prevalence of 4%–8% during pregnancy and the postnatal period), it is plausible that there may be a link between perinatal mental health disorders and having experienced domestic violence. Indeed, previous reviews have suggested the existence of such an association but were limited by the small number of included studies and focused on depression only, rather than the full range of antenatal and postnatal mental health disorders. So in this study the researchers systematically reviewed published studies to provide more robust estimates of the prevalence of having experienced domestic violence among women with antenatal and postnatal mental health disorders; the researchers also used a meta-analysis to estimate the odds (chance) of having experienced domestic violence among women with antenatal and postnatal mental health disorders.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers searched multiple databases and hand searched three relevant journals using key search terms to identify all types of relevant studies. Using specific criteria, the researchers retrieved and assessed over 1,000 full papers, of which 67 met the criteria for their systematic review. The researchers assessed the quality of each selected study and included only those studies that used validated diagnostic instruments and screening tools to assess mental health disorders in their calculations of the pooled (combined) odds ratio (OR) through meta-analysis.
Using these methods, in cross-sectional studies (studies conducted at one point in time), the researchers found that women with probable depression in the antenatal period reported a high prevalence and increased odds of having experienced partner violence during their lifetime (OR = 3), during the past year (OR = 2.8), and during pregnancy (OR = 5). The results were similar for the postnatal period. The evidence was less robust for anxiety disorders: among women with probable anxiety in the antenatal period, the researchers found an OR of 2.9 of having experienced lifetime partner violence. The odds were less in the postnatal period (OR = 1.4) In their analysis of longitudinal studies (follow-up studies over a period of time), the researchers found an increased odds of probable postnatal depression both among women who reported having ever experienced partner violence in their lifetime (OR = 2.9) and among women who reported having experienced partner violence during pregnancy (OR = 3.1). The researchers also found a combined prevalence estimate of 12.7% for probable depression during the postnatal period following experiences of partner violence during pregnancy. Because of limited data, the researchers could not calculate an OR of the association between probable antenatal depression and later experiences of partner violence.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that women with high levels of symptoms of perinatal mental health disorders—antenatal and postnatal anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder—have a high prevalence and increased odds of having experienced domestic violence both over their lifetime and during pregnancy. However, these findings cannot prove causality, they fail to show a two-way association (that is, perinatal mental health disorders leading to subsequent domestic violence), and no information on other perinatal mental disorders, such as eating disorders and puerperal psychosis, was available. The variation of the quality of the included studies also limits the results, highlighting the need for high-quality data to suggest how maternity and mental health services could address domestic violence and improve health outcomes for women and their infants in the future. Nevertheless, this study emphasizes the importance of identifying and responding to possible domestic violence among women attending antenatal and mental health services.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001452.
The World Health Organization provides information and statistics about violence against women and also about mental health disorders during pregnancy
The UK Royal College of Psychiatrists has information for professionals and patients about mental health disorders during pregnancy
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001452
PMCID: PMC3665851  PMID: 23723741
8.  Intimate Partner Violence and Incident Depressive Symptoms and Suicide Attempts: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(5):e1001439.
Karen Devries and colleagues conduct a systematic review of longitudinal studies to evaluate the direction of association between symptoms of depression and intimate partner violence.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Depression and suicide are responsible for a substantial burden of disease globally. Evidence suggests that intimate partner violence (IPV) experience is associated with increased risk of depression, but also that people with mental disorders are at increased risk of violence. We aimed to investigate the extent to which IPV experience is associated with incident depression and suicide attempts, and vice versa, in both women and men.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies published before February 1, 2013. More than 22,000 records from 20 databases were searched for studies examining physical and/or sexual intimate partner or dating violence and symptoms of depression, diagnosed major depressive disorder, dysthymia, mild depression, or suicide attempts. Random effects meta-analyses were used to generate pooled odds ratios (ORs). Sixteen studies with 36,163 participants met our inclusion criteria. All studies included female participants; four studies also included male participants. Few controlled for key potential confounders other than demographics. All but one depression study measured only depressive symptoms. For women, there was clear evidence of an association between IPV and incident depressive symptoms, with 12 of 13 studies showing a positive direction of association and 11 reaching statistical significance; pooled OR from six studies = 1.97 (95% CI 1.56–2.48, I2 = 50.4%, pheterogeneity = 0.073). There was also evidence of an association in the reverse direction between depressive symptoms and incident IPV (pooled OR from four studies = 1.93, 95% CI 1.51–2.48, I2 = 0%, p = 0.481). IPV was also associated with incident suicide attempts. For men, evidence suggested that IPV was associated with incident depressive symptoms, but there was no clear evidence of an association between IPV and suicide attempts or depression and incident IPV.
Conclusions
In women, IPV was associated with incident depressive symptoms, and depressive symptoms with incident IPV. IPV was associated with incident suicide attempts. In men, few studies were conducted, but evidence suggested IPV was associated with incident depressive symptoms. There was no clear evidence of association with suicide attempts.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Depression and suicide are responsible for a substantial proportion of the global disease burden. Depression—an overwhelming feeling of sadness and hopelessness that can last for months or years—affects more than 350 million people worldwide. It is the eleventh leading cause of global disability-adjusted life-years (a measure of overall disease burden), and it affects one in six people at some time during their lives. Globally, about a million people commit suicide every year, usually because they have depression or some other mental illness. Notably, in cross-sectional studies (investigations that look at a population at a single time point), experience of intimate partner violence (IPV, also called domestic violence) is strongly and consistently associated with both depressive disorders and suicide. IPV, like depression and suicide, is extremely common—in multi-country studies, 15%–71% of women report being physically assaulted at some time during their lifetime. IPV is defined as physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse; men as well as women can be the victims of IPV.
Why Was This Study Done?
It may seem obvious to assume that IPV is causally related to subsequent depression and suicidal behavior. However, cross-sectional studies provide no information about causality, and it is possible that depression and/or suicide attempts cause subsequent IPV or that there are common risk factors for IPV, depression, and suicide. For example, individuals with depressive symptoms may be more accepting of partners with characteristics that predispose them to use violence, or early life exposure to violence may predispose individuals to both depression and choosing violent partners. Here, as part of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, the researchers investigate the extent to which experience of IPV is associated with subsequent depression and suicide attempts and vice versa in both men and women by undertaking a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies that have examined IPV, depression, and suicide attempts. A systematic review uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic, meta-analysis combines the results of several studies, and longitudinal studies track people over time to investigate associations between specific characteristics and outcomes.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 16 longitudinal studies involving a total of 36,163 participants that met their inclusion criteria. All the studies included women, but only four also included men. All the studies were undertaken in high- and middle-income countries. For women, 11 studies showed a statistically significant association (an association unlikely to have occurred by chance) between IPV and subsequent depressive symptoms. In a meta-analysis of six studies, experience of IPV nearly doubled the risk of women subsequently reporting depressive symptoms. In addition, there was evidence of an association in the reverse direction. In a meta-analysis of four studies, depressive symptoms nearly doubled the risk of women subsequently experiencing IPV. IPV was also associated with subsequent suicide attempts among women. For men, there was some evidence from two studies that IPV was associated with depressive symptoms but no evidence for an association between IPV and subsequent suicide attempt or between depressive symptoms and subsequent IPV.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that women who are exposed to IPV are at increased risk of subsequent depression and that women who are depressed are more likely to be at risk of IPV. They also provide evidence of an association between IPV and subsequent suicide attempt for women. The study provides little evidence for similar relationships among men, but additional studies are needed to confirm this finding. Moreover, the accuracy of these findings is likely to be affected by several limitations of the study. For example, few of the included studies controlled for other factors that might have affected both exposure to IPV and depressive symptoms, and none of the studies considered the effect of emotional violence on depressive symptoms and suicide attempts. Nevertheless, these findings have two important implications. First, they suggest that preventing violence against women has the potential to reduce the global burden of disease related to depression and suicide. Second, they suggest that clinicians should pay attention to past experiences of violence and the risk of future violence when treating women who present with symptoms of depression.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001439.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Alexander Tsai
The US National Institute of Mental Health provides information on all aspects of depression and of suicide and suicide prevention (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides detailed information about depression, including personal stories about depression, and information on suicide and its prevention; it has a webpage about domestic violence, which includes descriptions of personal experiences
The World Health Organization provides information on depression, on the global burden of suicide and on suicide prevention, and on intimate partner violence (some information in several languages)
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about depression, suicide, and domestic violence (in English and Spanish)
The charity Healthtalkonline has personal stories about depression and about dealing with suicide
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001439
PMCID: PMC3646718  PMID: 23671407
9.  Association Between Depression and Functional Vision Loss in Persons 20 Years of Age or Older in the United States, NHANES 2005–2008 
JAMA ophthalmology  2013;131(5):573-581.
Importance
This study provides further evidence from a national sample to generalize the relationship between depression and vision loss to adults across the age spectrum. Better recognition of depression among people reporting reduced ability to perform routine activities of daily living due to vision loss is warranted.
Objectives
To estimate, in a national survey of US adults 20 years of age or older, the prevalence of depression among adults reporting visual function loss and among those with visual acuity impairment. The relationship between depression and vision loss has not been reported in a nationally representative sample of US adults. Previous studies have been limited to specific cohorts and predominantly focused on the older population.
Design
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005–2008.
Setting
A cross-sectional, nationally representative sample of adults, with prevalence estimates weighted to represent the civilian, noninstitutionalized US population.
Participants
A total of 10 480 US adults 20 years of age or older.
Main Outcome Measures
Depression, as measured by the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire depression scale, and vision loss, as measured by visual function using a questionnaire and by visual acuity at examination.
Results
In 2005–2008, the estimated crude prevalence of depression (9-item Patient Health Questionnaire score of ≥10) was 11.3% (95% CI, 9.7%–13.2%) among adults with self-reported visual function loss and 4.8% (95% CI, 4.0%–5.7%) among adults without. The estimated prevalence of depression was 10.7% (95% CI, 8.0%–14.3%) among adults with presenting visual acuity impairment (visual acuity worse than 20/40 in the better-seeing eye) compared with 6.8% (95% CI, 5.8%–7.8%) among adults with normal visual acuity. After controlling for age, sex, race/ethnicity, marital status, living alone or not, education, income, employment status, health insurance, body mass index, smoking, binge drinking, general health status, eyesight worry, and major chronic conditions, self-reported visual function loss remained significantly associated with depression (overall odds ratio, 1.9 [95% CI, 1.6–2.3]), whereas the association between presenting visual acuity impairment and depression was no longer statistically significant.
Conclusions and Relevance
Self-reported visual function loss, rather than loss of visual acuity, is significantly associated with depression. Health professionals should be aware of the risk of depression among persons reporting visual function loss.
doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2013.2597
PMCID: PMC3772677  PMID: 23471505
10.  Equity in the delivery of community healthcare to older people: findings from 10/66 Dementia Research Group cross-sectional surveys in Latin America, China, India and Nigeria 
Background
To describe patterns of recent health service utilisation, and consequent out-of-pocket expenses among older people in countries with low and middle incomes, and to assess the equity with which services are accessed and delivered.
Methods
17,944 people aged 65 years and over were assessed in one-phase population-based cross-sectional surveys in geographically-defined catchment areas in nine countries - urban and rural sites in China, India, Mexico and Peru, urban sites in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, and a rural site in Nigeria. The main outcome was use of community health care services in the past 3 months. Independent associations were estimated with indicators of need (dementia, depression, physical impairments), predisposing factors (age, sex, and education), and enabling factors (household assets, pension receipt and health insurance) using Poisson regression to generate prevalence ratios and fixed effects meta-analysis to combine them.
Results
The proportion using healthcare services varied from 6% to 82% among sites. Number of physical impairments (pooled prevalence ratio 1.37, 95% CI 1.26-1.49) and ICD-10 depressive episode (pooled PR 1.21, 95% CI 1.07-1.38) were associated with service use, but dementia was inversely associated (pooled PR 0.93, 95% CI 0.90-0.97). Other correlates were female sex, higher education, more household assets, receiving a pension, and health insurance. Standardisation for age, sex, physical impairments, depression and dementia did not explain variation in service use. There was a strong borderline significant ecological correlation between the proportion of consultations requiring out-of-pocket costs and the prevalence of health service use (r = -0.50, p = 0.09).
Conclusions
While there was little evidence of ageism, inequity was apparent in the independent enabling effects of education and health insurance cover, the latter particularly in sites where out-of-pocket expenses were common, and private health insurance an important component of healthcare financing. Variation in service use among sites was most plausibly accounted for by stark differences in the extent of out-of-pocket expenses, and the ability of older people and their families to afford them. Health systems that finance medical services through out-of-pocket payments risk excluding the poorest older people, those without a secure regular income, and the uninsured.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-153
PMCID: PMC3146820  PMID: 21711546
11.  Prevalence of Cognitive Impairment and Depression among a Population Aged over 60 Years in the Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara, Mexico 
Background. Cognitive impairment is an important clinical issue among elderly patients with depression and has a more complex etiology because of the variable rate of neurodegenerative changes associated with depression. The aim of the present work was to examine the prevalence of cognitive impairment and depression in a representative sample of adults aged ≥60 years. Methods. The presented work was a cross-sectional study on the prevalence of cognitive impairment and depression. Door-to-door interview technique was assigned in condition with multistage probability random sampling to obtain subjects that represent a population of the Guadalajara metropolitan area (GMA), Mexico. Cognitive function and depression were assessed by applying standardized Mini-Mental State Examination of Folstein (MMSE) and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), respectively. Results. Prevalence of cognitive impairment was 13.8% (14.5% women, 12.6% men); no significant differences by gender and retired or pensioner were found. Prevalence of depression was 29.1% (33.6% women, 21.1% men); no significant differences by retired or pensioner were found. Cognitive impairment was associated with depression (OR  =  3.26, CI 95%, 2.31–4.60). Prevalence of cognitive impairment and depression is associated with: being woman, only in depression being older than 75 years being married, and a low level of education. Conclusion. Cognitive impairment and depression are highly correlated in adults aged ≥60.
doi:10.1155/2012/175019
PMCID: PMC3518079  PMID: 23243421
12.  Prevalence and factors associated with depressive symptoms among post-partum mothers in Nepal 
BMC Research Notes  2015;8:111.
Background
Post-partum depression is a common complication of women after childbirth. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of and factors associated with depressive symptoms among post-partum mothers attending a child immunization clinic at a maternity hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Methods
This cross-sectional study was conducted among 346 post-partum mothers at six to ten weeks after delivery using systematic random sampling. Mothers were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was used to screen for depressive symptoms. Logistic regression analysis was used to calculate the association of post-partum depressive symptoms with socio-demographic and maternal factors.
Results
The prevalence of post-partum depressive symptoms among mothers was 30%. Mothers aged 20 to 29 years were less likely to have depressive symptoms (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0.40; 95% CI: 0.21-0.76) compared to older mothers. Similarly, mothers with a history of pregnancy-induced health problems were more likely to have depressive symptoms (aOR = 2.16; CI: 1.00-4.66) and subjective feelings of stress (aOR = 3.86; CI: 1.84-4.66) than mothers who did not.
Conclusions
The number of post-partum mothers experiencing depressive symptoms was high; almost one-third of the participants reported having them. Pregnancy-induced health problems and subjective feelings of stress during pregnancy in the post-partum period were found to be associated with depressive symptoms among these women. Screening of depressive symptoms should be included in routine antenatal and postnatal care services for early identification and prevention.
doi:10.1186/s13104-015-1074-3
PMCID: PMC4383200  PMID: 25885925
Edinburgh postnatal depression scale; Depressive symptoms; Post-partum; Mothers; Nepal
13.  Trends in Depressive Symptom Burden Among Older Adults in the United States from 1998 to 2008 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2013;28(12):1611-1619.
ABSTRACT
CONTEXT
Diagnosis and treatment of depression has increased over the past decade in the United States. Whether self-reported depressive symptoms among older adults have concomitantly declined is unknown.
OBJECTIVE
To examine trends in depressive symptoms among older adults in the US between 1998 and 2008.
DESIGN
Serial cross-sectional analysis of six biennial assessments.
SETTING
Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally-representative survey.
PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS
Adults aged 55 and older (N = 16,184 in 1998).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE
The eight-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES-D8) assessed three levels of depressive symptoms (none = 0, elevated = 4+, severe = 6+), adjusting for demographic and clinical characteristics.
RESULTS
Having no depressive symptoms increased over the 10-year period from 40.9 % to 47.4 % (prevalence ratio [PR]: 1.16, 95 % CI: 1.13–1.19), with significant increases in those aged ≥ 60 relative to those aged 55–59. There was a 7 % prevalence reduction of elevated symptoms from 15.5 % to 14.2 % (PR: 0.93, 95 % CI: 0.88–0.98), which was most pronounced among those aged 80–84 in whom the prevalence of elevated symptoms declined from 14.3 % to 9.6 %. Prevalence of having severe depressive symptoms increased from 5.8 % to 6.8 % (PR: 1.17, 95 % CI: 1.06–1.28); however, this increase was limited to those aged 55–59, with the probability of severe symptoms increasing from 8.7 % to 11.8 %. No significant changes in severe symptoms were observed for those aged ≥ 60.
CONCLUSIONS
Overall late-life depressive symptom burden declined significantly from 1998 to 2008. This decrease appeared to be driven primarily by greater reductions in depressive symptoms in the oldest-old, and by an increase in those with no depressive symptoms. These changes in symptom burden were robust to physical, functional, demographic, and economic factors. Future research should examine whether this decrease in depressive symptoms is associated with improved treatment outcomes, and if there have been changes in the treatment received for the various age cohorts.
doi:10.1007/s11606-013-2533-y
PMCID: PMC3832736  PMID: 23835787
depression; United States; older adults; Health and Retirement Study; HRS
14.  Depression in the elderly in Karachi, Pakistan: a cross sectional study 
BMC Psychiatry  2013;13:181.
Background
Depression in elderly is a major global public health concern. There has been no population-based study of depression in the elderly in Pakistan. The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of depression and its association with family support of elderly (age 60 years and above) in Karachi, Pakistan.
Methods
A population based cross-sectional study was carried out in Karachi from July-September 2008. Questionnaire based interviews were conducted with individuals (n = 953) recruited through multi-stage cluster sampling technique, using the 15- item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS).
Results
Prevalence of depression was found to be 40.6%, with a higher preponderance in women than men (50% vs. 32%). Elderly currently not living with their spouses were 60% more depressed than those living with their spouses (Adjusted OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.3-2.1). Elderly who did not consider their children as future support were twice as likely to be depressed as those considering their children to be old age security (Adjusted OR = 2.1, 95% CI = 1.4-3.1). An increase in one male adult child showed 10% decrease in depression after adjusting for other variables (Adjusted OR = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.8-0.9).
Conclusion
A relatively high prevalence of depression was found in the elderly in Karachi. There appeared to be a strong association between depression and family support variables such as living with spouse, considering children as future security and number of male adult children in the sample studied. Mental wellbeing of the elderly in Pakistan needs to be given consideration in the health policy of the country. In collectivistic societies like Pakistan family support plays an important part in mental health of the elderly that needs to be recognized and supported through various governmental and non-governmental initiatives.
Keypoints
Assessment of depression in elderly, Cross-sectional study in Karachi-Pakistan
doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-181
PMCID: PMC3704964  PMID: 23819509
Psychiatric problems; Depression; Elderly; Aging; Geriatric; Prevalence
15.  Associations between depressive symptoms, sexual behaviour and relationship characteristics: a prospective cohort study of young women and men in the Eastern Cape, South Africa 
Background
Psychological factors are often neglected in HIV research, although psychological distress is common in low- to middle-income countries, such as South Africa. There is a need to deepen our understanding of the role of mental health factors in the HIV epidemic. We set out to investigate whether baseline depressive symptomatology was associated with risky sexual behaviour and relationship characteristics of men and women at baseline, as well as those found 12 months later.
Methods
We used prospective cohort data from a cluster randomized controlled trial of an HIV prevention intervention in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Our subjects were 1002 female and 976 male volunteers aged 15 to 26. Logistic regression was used to model the cross-sectional and prospective associations between baseline depressive symptomatology, risky sexual behaviors and relationship characteristics. The analysis adjusted for the clustering effect, study design, intervention and several confounding variables.
Results
Prevalence of depressive symptoms was 21.1% among women and 13.6% among men. At baseline, women with depressed symptoms were more likely to report lifetime intimate partner violence (AOR = 2.56, 95% CI 1.89-3.46) and have dated an older partner (AOR = 1.37, 95% CI 1.03-1.83). A year later, baseline depressive symptomatology was associated with transactional sex (AOR = 2.60, 95% CI 1.37, 4.92) and intimate partner violence (AOR = 1.67, 95% CI 1.18-2.36) in the previous 12 months. Men with depressive symptoms were more likely to report ever having had transactional sex (AOR = 1.48, 95% CI 1.01-2.17), intimate partner violence perpetration (AOR = 1.50, 95% CI 0.98-2.28) and perpetration of rape (AOR = 1.81, 95% CI 1.14-2.87). They were less likely to report correct condom use at last sex (AOR = 0.50, 95% CI 0.32-0.78). A year later, baseline depressive symptomatology was associated with failure to use a condom at last sex among men (AOR = 0.60, 95% CI 0.40-0.89).
Conclusions
Symptoms of depression should be considered as potential markers of increased HIV risk and this association may be causal. HIV prevention needs to encompass promotion of adolescent mental health.
doi:10.1186/1758-2652-13-44
PMCID: PMC2992477  PMID: 21078150
16.  Late-life depression in Peru, Mexico and Venezuela: the 10/66 population-based study 
The British Journal of Psychiatry  2009;195(6):510-515.
Background
The proportion of the global population aged 60 and over is increasing, more so in Latin America than any other region. Depression is common among elderly people and an important cause of disability worldwide.
Aims
To estimate the prevalence and correlates of late-life depression, associated disability and access to treatment in five locations in Latin America.
Method
A one-phase cross-sectional survey of 5886 people aged 65 and over from urban and rural locations in Peru and Mexico and an urban site in Venezuela. Depression was identified according to DSM–IV and ICD–10 criteria, Geriatric Mental State–Automated Geriatric Examination for Computer Assisted Taxonomy (GMS–AGECAT) algorithm and EURO–D cut-off point. Poisson regression was used to estimate the independent associations of sociodemographic characteristics, economic circumstances and health status with ICD–10 depression.
Results
For DSM–IV major depression overall prevalence varied between 1.3% and 2.8% by site, for ICD–10 depressive episode between 4.5% and 5.1%, for GMS–AGECAT depression between 30.0% and 35.9% and for EURO–D depression between 26.1% and 31.2%; therefore, there was a considerable prevalence of clinically significant depression beyond that identified by ICD–10 and DSM–IV diagnostic criteria. Most older people with depression had never received treatment. Limiting physical impairments and a past history of depression were the two most consistent correlates of the ICD–10 depressive episode.
Conclusions
The treatment gap poses a significant challenge for Latin American health systems, with their relatively weak primary care services and reliance on private specialists; local treatment trials could establish the cost-effectiveness of mental health investment in the government sector.
doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.109.064055
PMCID: PMC2915389  PMID: 19949200
17.  Factors associated with help-seeking behaviors in Mexican elderly individuals with depressive symptoms: a cross-sectional study 
International journal of geriatric psychiatry  2013;28(12):10.1002/gps.3953.
Objective
Depression in the elderly is associated with multiple adverse outcomes, such as high health service utilization rates, low pharmacological compliance, and synergistic interactions with other comorbidities. Moreover, the help seeking process, which usually starts with the feeling “that something is wrong” and ends with appropriate medical care, is influenced by several factors.
The aim of this study was to explore factors associated with the pathway of help seeking among older adults with depressive symptoms.
Methods
A cross-sectional study of 60-year or older of community dwelling elderly belonging to the largest health and social security system in Mexico was done. A standardized interview explored the process of seeking health care in four dimensions: depressive symptoms, help seeking, help acquisition and specialized mental health.
Results
A total of 2,322 individuals were studied; from these, 67.14% (n=1,559) were women, and the mean age was 73.18 years (SD=7.02) 57.9% had symptoms of depression, 337 (25.1%) participants sought help, and 271 (80.4%) received help and 103 (38%) received specialized mental health care. In the stepwise model for not seeking help (χ2=81.66, p<0.0001), significant variables were female gender (OR=0.07 95% CI 0.511–0.958 p=0.026), health care use (OR 3.26 CI 95% 1.64–6.488, p=0.001). Number of years in school, difficulty in activities, SAST score and depression as a disease belief were also significant.
Conclusions
Appropriate mental health care is rather complex and is influenced by several factors. The main factors associated with help seeking were gender, education level, recent health service use, and the belief that depression is not a disease. Detection of subjects with these characteristics could improve care of elderly with depressive symptoms.
doi:10.1002/gps.3953
PMCID: PMC3797168  PMID: 23585359
Mental health services; late life depressive symptoms; help-seeking; late life depression care
18.  Assessment of Social Support and Its Association to Depression, Self-Perceived Health and Chronic Diseases in Elderly Individuals Residing in an Area of Poverty and Social Vulnerability in Rio de Janeiro City, Brazil 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e71712.
Objectives
Social support (SS) influences the elderly ability to cope with the losses of ageing process. This study was aimed at assessing SS among elderly users of a primary healthcare unit in a poor and violent area of Rio de Janeiro City, and at verifying its association with depression, self-perceived health (SPH), marital status and chronic illnesses.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was performed based on a convenience sample of 180 individuals aged 60 years or older. SS was measured with part of the Brazilian version of Medical Outcomes Study's SS scale, and SPH and depression were assessed, respectively, through one question and the Brazilian version of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders. SS medians were calculated for the categories of SPH, depression, marital status and chronic illnesses variables, and differences were evaluated with the Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests. Additionally, Pearson's chi-square test and logistic regression were employed to identify unadjusted and adjusted associations between SS and those variables.
Results
The participant’s mean age was 73 years old, and level of education was 3 years of school education on average. They were predominantly females (73.3%), and non-married (55.0%). Among them, 74.4% perceived their SS as satisfactory, 55.0% perceived their health as good, 27.8% were diagnosed with major depression and 83.3% had hypertension. Especially for those depressed and with bad SPH, the medians of SS measure were much lower than for others, reaching an unsatisfactory level. Moreover, controlling for other factors, non-depressed individuals were more likely (OR = 2.32) to have satisfactory SS.
Conclusion
in the violent and poor area explored in this research low SS is highly prevalent in the elderly. Depressed individuals are more likely to have low SS and this condition should be investigated in depressed elderly. The reduced scale is useful for low education individuals.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071712
PMCID: PMC3741124  PMID: 23951227
19.  Physical activity as a protective factor against depressive symptoms in older Chinese veterans in the community: result from a national cross-sectional study 
Background
Physical activity is generally considered to be effective in reducing the prevalence of depression and promoting remission of its symptoms. However, large-scale epidemiological research on this issue is lacking in older Chinese adults. We performed a nationwide epidemiological survey to determine the relationship between physical activity and depressive symptoms in older Chinese veterans in the community, with adjustment for potential confounders.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted in a representative sample of 9,676 community-dwelling older Chinese veterans. Depressive symptoms were identified using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Physical activity was self-reported using a one-year physical activity questionnaire. Information about covariates was obtained by questionnaire-based interview. Relationships between study variables and symptoms of depression were estimated using unadjusted and adjusted analyses.
Results
The median age was 82.29 (interquartile range 80.25–84.60) years. In total, 81.84% of the study participants engaged in physical activity that was predominantly light in intensity. In unadjusted analyses, physical activity was associated with a significantly decreased likelihood of depressive symptoms (5.43% versus 18.83%, P<0.0001). Multivariate logistic regression with adjustment and controlling for confounders, physical activity was still inversely associated with depressive symptoms and was the only independent protective factor (odds ratio 0.57, 95% confidence interval 0.44–0.72, P<0.0001) among the associated factors in this study. In a univariate general linear model, there was a significant difference in Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale score between subjects participating in active physical activity and those who did not (F=59.07, P<0.0001).
Conclusion
This study found an inverse relationship between physical activity and symptoms of depression in older Chinese veterans in the community. It was also indicated that the antidepressant effect of physical activity probably extended to the oldest-old, and the light-intensity physical activity was probably available for the same protective effect. This information could be used to devise further interventions to prevent or ameliorate symptoms of depression.
doi:10.2147/NDT.S80295
PMCID: PMC4376303  PMID: 25848278
physical activity; depression; protective factor; older adults; Chinese veteran
20.  Detecting psychogeriatric problems in primary care: factors related to psychiatric symptoms in older community patients 
Objective The aim was to determine the relationship and influence of different variables on the psychiatric symptomatology of older people who reside in the community, as detected by family practitioners.
Design A cross-sectional and multi-centre study.
Setting Twenty-eight general practices and two psychiatric practices in Huesca, Spain, from 19 primary care health centres.
Subjects A sample of 324 patients aged over 65 years, representative of the older people who reside in the community in the province of Huesca.
Main outcome measures Symptoms of depression (Yesavage GDS), cognitive impairment (MMSE), anxiety (GADS), psychotic symptoms, obsessive symptoms and hypochondriacal ideas (GMS) were measured by family practitioner and were detected following specific questions from the Geriatric Mental State (GMS-B) examination, following DSM-IV criteria, being defined as ‘concern and fear of suffering, or the idea of having a serious disease based on the interpretation of somatic symptoms’. Sociodemographic, physical and somatic, functional and social data were evaluated. Analysis was carried out in three phases: univariate, bivariate and multivariate with logistic regression.
Results At the time of the study, 46.1% of the older people studied suffered from some psychiatric symptom; 16.4% had cognitive impairment, 15.7% anxiety, 14.3% depression, 6.1% hallucinations and delusions, 7.2% hypochondriacal ideas and 4.4% obsessive symptoms. Female gender was significantly associated with depression (prevalence ration (PR) 3.3) and anxiety (PR 3.9). Age was a factor associated with cognitive impairment (PR 4.4). Depression was significantly related to severity of the physical illness (PR 61.7 in extremely severe impairment). Isolation (PR 16.3) and being single (PR 13.4) were factors which were strongly associated with anxiety; living in a nursing home was associated with psychotic symptoms (PR 7.6).
Conclusions Severity of physical illness, isolation, living in a nursing home and female gender, among others, are related to psychiatric symptoms in community-residing older people identified in primary healthcare centres.
PMCID: PMC3134209  PMID: 22479288
associated factors; older people; primary health care; psychiatric symptoms; screening
21.  Depressive symptoms and alcohol correlates among Brazilians aged 14 years and older: a cross-sectional study 
Background
The associations between depressive symptoms and alcohol-related disorders, drinking patterns and other characteristics of alcohol use are important public health issues worldwide. This study aims to study these associations in an upper middle-income country, Brazil, and search for related socio-demographic correlations in men and women.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted between November 2005 and April 2006. The sample of 3,007 participants, selected using a multistage probabilistic sampling method, represents the Brazilian population aged 14 and older. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale and alcohol dependence was assessed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Associations assessed using bi-variate analysis were tested using Rao-Scott measures. Gender specific multinomial logistic regression models were developed.
Results
Among the participants with alcohol dependence, 46% had depressive symptoms (17.2% mild/moderate and 28.8% major/severe; p < 0.01); 35.8% (p = 0.08) of those with alcohol abuse and 23.9% (p < 0.01) of those with a binge-drinking pattern also had depressive symptoms. Alcohol abstainers and infrequent drinkers had the highest prevalence of major/severe depressive symptoms, whereas frequent heavy drinkers had the lowest prevalence of major/severe depressive symptoms. In women, alcohol dependence and the presence of one or more problems related to alcohol consumption were associated with higher risks of major/severe depressive symptoms. Among men, alcohol dependence and being ≥45 years old were associated with higher risks of major/severe depressive symptoms.
Conclusions
In Brazil, the prevalence of depressive symptoms is strongly related to alcohol dependence; the strongest association was between major/severe depressive symptoms and alcohol dependence in women. This survey supports the possible association of biopsychosocial distress, alcohol consumption and the prevalence of depressive symptoms in Brazil. Investing in education, social programs, and care for those with alcohol dependence and major/severe depressive symptoms, especially for such women, and the development of alcohol prevention policies may be components of a strategic plan to reduce the prevalence of depression and alcohol problems in Brazil. Such a plan may also promote the socio-economic development of Brazil and other middle-income countries.
doi:10.1186/1747-597X-9-29
PMCID: PMC4105397  PMID: 25027830
Depressive symptoms; Alcohol dependence; Epidemiology; Survey; Comorbidity
22.  A Tune in “A Minor” Can “B Major”: A Review of Epidemiology, Illness Course, and Public Health Implications of Subthreshold Depression in Older Adults 
Journal of affective disorders  2011;129(1-3):126-142.
BACKGROUND
With emphasis on dimensional aspects of psychopathology in development of the upcoming DSM-V, we systematically review data on epidemiology, illness course, risk factors for, and consequences of late-life depressive syndromes not meeting DSM-IV-TR criteria for major depression or dysthymia. We termed these syndromes subthreshold depression, including minor depression and subsyndromal depression.
METHODS
We searched PubMed (1980–Jan 2010) using the terms: subsyndromal depression, subthreshold depression, and minor depression in combination with elderly, geriatric, older adult, and late-life. Data were extracted from 181 studies of late-life subthreshold depression.
RESULTS
In older adults subthreshold depression was generally at least 2–3 times more prevalent (median community point prevalence 9.8%) than major depression. Prevalence of subthreshold depression was lower in community settings versus primary care and highest in long-term care settings. Approximately 8–10% of older persons with subthreshold depression developed major depression per year. The course of late-life subthreshold depression was more favorable than that of late-life major depression, but far from benign, with a median remission rate to non-depressed status of only 27% after ≥1 year. Prominent risk factors included female gender, medical burden, disability, and low social support; consequences included increased disability, greater healthcare utilization, and increased suicidal ideation.
LIMITATIONS
Heterogeneity of the data, especially related to definitions of subthreshold depression limit our ability to conduct meta-analysis.
CONCLUSIONS
The high prevalence and associated adverse health outcomes of late-life subthreshold depression indicate the major public health significance of this condition and suggest a need for further research on its neurobiology and treatment. Such efforts could potentially lead to prevention of considerable morbidity for the growing number of older adults.
doi:10.1016/j.jad.2010.09.015
PMCID: PMC3036776  PMID: 20926139
23.  Prevalence and risk factors of depressive symptoms in a Canadian palliative home care population: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Palliative Care  2014;13:10.
Background
Depression in palliative care patients is important because of its intrinsic burden and association with elevated physical symptoms, reduced immunity and increased mortality risk. Identifying risk factors associated with depression can enable clinicians to more readily diagnose it, which is important since depression is treatable. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to determine the prevalence of depressive symptoms and risk factors associated with them in a large sample of palliative home care patients.
Methods
The data come from interRAI Palliative Care assessments completed between 2006 and 2012. The sample (n = 5144) consists of adults residing in Ontario (Canada), receiving home care services, classified as palliative, and not experiencing significant cognitive impairment. Logistic regression identified the risk factors associated with depressive symptoms. The dependent variable was the Depression Rating Scale (DRS) and the independent variables were functional indicators from the interRAI assessment and other variables identified in the literature. We examined the results of the complete case and multiple imputation analyses, and found them to be similar.
Results
The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 9.8%. The risk factors associated with depressive symptoms were (pooled estimates, multiple imputation): low life satisfaction (OR = 3.01 [CI = 2.37-3.82]), severe and moderate sleep disorders (2.56 [2.05-3.19] and 1.56 [1.18-2.06]), health instability (2.12 [1.42-3.18]), caregiver distress 2.01 [1.62-2.51]), daily pain (1.73 [1.35-2.22]), cognitive impairment (1.45 [1.13-1.87]), being female (1.37 [1.11-1.68]), and gastrointestinal symptoms (1.27 [1.03-1.55]). Life satisfaction mediated the effect of prognostic awareness on depressive symptoms.
Conclusions
The prevalence of depressive symptoms in our study was close to the median of 10-20% reported in the palliative care literature, suggesting they are present but by no means inevitable in palliative patients. Most of the factors associated with depressive symptoms in our study are amenable to clinical intervention and often targeted in palliative care programs. Designing interventions to address them can be challenging, however, requiring careful attention to patient preferences, the spectrum of comorbid conditions they face, and their social supports. Life satisfaction was one of the strongest factors associated with depressive symptoms in our study, and is likely to be among the most challenging to address.
doi:10.1186/1472-684X-13-10
PMCID: PMC4003817  PMID: 24636452
Depression; Depressive symptoms; Palliative care patients; Depression Rating Scale; InterRAI Palliative Care assessment; Risk factors for depression; Prevalence of depressive symptoms
24.  Hospitalization, Depression and Dementia in Community-Dwelling Older Americans: Findings from the National Health and Aging Trends Study 
General hospital psychiatry  2013;36(2):135-141.
Objective
To estimate the prevalence of both dementia and depression among community-dwelling older Americans, and to determine if hospitalization is independently associated with dementia or depression in this population.
Method
This cross-sectional study utilized data from a nationally representative, population-based sample of 7,197 community-dwelling adults ≥ 65 years old interviewed in 2011 as part of the National Health and Aging Trends Study. Information on hospitalizations was obtained from self or proxy-report. Possible and probable dementia was assessed according to a validated algorithm. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the Patient Health Questionnaire-2.
Results
An estimated 3.1 million community-dwelling older Americans may have dementia, and approximately 5.3 million may have substantial depressive symptoms. After adjusting for demographic and social characteristics, medical diagnoses, smoking history, serious falls, and pain symptoms, being hospitalized in the previous year was independently associated with greater odds of probable dementia (odds ratio [OR]: 1.42, 95% confidence interval[95%CI]: 1.16, 1.73) and substantial depressive symptoms (OR: 1.60, 95%CI: 1.29, 1.99).
Conclusions
Dementia and depression are common in community-dwelling older Americans, and hospitalization is associated with these conditions. Additional research increasing understanding of the bi-directional relationship between hospitalizations, dementia, and depression, along with targeted interventions to reduce hospitalizations, are needed.
doi:10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2013.11.008
PMCID: PMC3951607  PMID: 24388630
dementia; depression; hospitalization
25.  Depression in elderly patients with Alzheimer dementia or vascular dementia and its influence on their quality of life 
Background:
Alzheimer dementia (AD) and vascular dementia (VD) are the most common causes of dementia in the elderly. Depression is an important co-morbid disorder in these diseases, which is often challenging to recognize. We investigated the prevalence of depression in patients with AD and VD and estimated the influence of depression on the health-related quality of life (HrQoL) in these patients.
Materials and Methods:
We evaluated prevalence of depression in consecutively recruited patients with AD or VD (n= 98). Depression was diagnosed according to criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) and scored using the Geriatric Depression Scale. The EuroQol (EQ-5D and visual analogue scale) was applied to evaluate HrQoL. The severity of cognitive impairment was measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Multiple regression analysis was used to identify factors predicting severity of depression.
Results:
The prevalence of depression in AD/VD was 87%. In comparison to the general population, HrQoL measured on the visual analogue scale was reduced by 54% in patients with AD/VD. In the dimension “anxiety/depression” of the EQ-5D, 81% of patients with AD/VD had moderate or severe problems. Depression showed significant association with reduced HrQoL (P<0.01). Independent predictors of more severe depression were older age, male gender, better MMSE scores and being not married.
Conclusions:
Depression is a prevalent psychiatric co-morbidity in patients with AD/VD, which is often under-diagnosed being masked by cognitive impairment. Depression is a predictor of reduced HrQoL in elder people with AD/VD. Therefore, they should be screened for presence of depressive symptoms and receive adequate antidepressant treatment.
doi:10.4103/0976-3147.80087
PMCID: PMC3122998  PMID: 21716831
Alzheimer dementia; depression; health-related quality of life; prevalence; vascular dementia

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