A number of clinical features potentially reflect an individual's familial vulnerability to major depression (MD), including early age at onset, recurrence, impairment, episode duration, and the number and pattern of depressive symptoms. However, these results are drawn from studies that have exclusively examined individuals from a European ethnic background. We investigated which clinical features of depressive illness index familial vulnerability in Han Chinese females with MD.
We used lifetime MD and associated clinical features assessed at personal interview in 1,970 Han Chinese women with DSM-IV MD between 30–60 years of age. Odds Ratios were calculated by logistic regression.
Individuals with a high familial risk for MD are characterized by severe episodes of MD without known precipitants (such as stress life events) and are less likely to feel irritable/angry or anxious/nervous.
The association between family history of MD and the lack of a precipitating stressor, traditionally a characteristic of endogenous or biological depression, may reflect the association seen in other samples between recurrent MD and a positive family history. The symptomatic associations we have seen may reflect a familial predisposition to other dimensions of psychopathology, such as externalizing disorders or anxiety states. Depression and Anxiety 0:1–6, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
major depression; family history; symptom; life events
Although the diagnosis of melancholia has had a long history, the validity of the current DSM-IV definition remains contentious. We report here the first detailed comparison of melancholic and nonmelancholic major depression (MD) in a Chinese population examining in particular whether these two forms of MD differ quantitatively or qualitatively.
DSM-IV criteria for melancholia were applied to 1,970 Han Chinese women with recurrent MD recruited from 53 provincial mental health centers and psychiatric departments of general medical hospitals in 41 cities. Statistical analyses, utilizing Student's t-tests and Pearson's χ2, were calculated using SPSS 13.0.
Melancholic patients with MD were distinguished from nonmelancholic by being older, having a later age at onset, more episodes of illness and meeting more A criteria. They also had higher levels of neuroticism and rates of lifetime generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social and agoraphobia. They had significantly lower rates of childhood sexual abuse but did not differ on other stressful life events or rates of MD in their families.
Consistent with most prior findings in European and US populations, we find that melancholia is a more clinically severe syndrome than nonmelancholic depression with higher rates of comorbidity. The evidence that it is a more “biological” or qualitatively distinct syndrome, however, is mixed.
major depression; melancholia; symptom; stressful life events
Subthreshold depressive disorder is one of the best established risk factors for the onset of full-syndrome depressive disorders. However, many youths with subthreshold depressive disorder do not develop full-syndrome depression. We examined predictors of escalation to full-syndrome depressive disorders in a community sample of 225 adolescents with subthreshold depressive disorder.
Criteria for subthreshold depressive disorder were an episode of depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure lasting at least 1 week and at least two of the seven other DSM-IV-associated symptoms for major depression. Participants were assessed four times from mid-adolescence to age 30 years using semistructured diagnostic interviews.
The estimated risk for escalation to full-syndrome depressive disorders was 67%. Five variables accounted for unique variance in predicting escalation: severity of depressive symptoms, medical conditions/symptoms, history of suicidal ideation, history of anxiety disorder, and familial loading for depression. Adolescents with three or more risk factors had an estimated 90% chance of escalating to full-syndrome depressive disorder, compared with 47% of adolescents with fewer than three risk factors.
These data may be useful in identifying a subgroup of youths with subthreshold depressive disorder who are at especially high risk for escalating to full-syndrome depressive disorders.
The relationship between recurrent major depression (MD) in women and suicidality is complex. We investigated the extent to which patients who suffered with various forms of suicidal symptomatology can be distinguished from those subjects without such symptoms.
We examined the clinical features of the worst episode in 1970 Han Chinese women with recurrent DSM-IV MD between the ages of 30 and 60 years from across China. Student's t tests, and logistic and multiple logistic regression models were used to determine the association between suicidality and other clinical features of MD.
Suicidal symptomatology is significantly associated with a more severe form of MD, as indexed by both the number of episodes and number of MD symptoms. Patients reporting suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts experienced a significantly greater number of stressful life events. The depressive symptom most strongly associated with lifetime suicide attempt was feelings of worthlessness (odds ratio 4.25, 95% confidence interval 2.9–6.3). Excessive guilt, diminished concentration and impaired decision-making were also significantly associated with a suicide attempt.
This study contributes to the existing literature on risk factors for suicidal symptomatology in depressed women. Identifying specific depressive symptoms and co-morbid psychiatric disorders may help improve the clinical assessment of suicide risk in depressed patients. These findings could be helpful in identifying those who need more intense treatment strategies in order to prevent suicide.
Co-morbidity; major depression; suicidal ideation; suicide; women
The DSM-IV symptomatic criteria for major depression (MD) derive primarily from clinical experience with modest empirical support.
The sample studied included 1015 (518 males, 497 females) Caucasian twins from a population-based registry who met criteria for MD in the year prior to the interview. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to compare the associations of: (1) single symptomatic criterion, (2) two groups of criteria reflecting cognitive and neurovegetative symptoms, with a wide range of potential validators including demographic factors, risk for future episodes, risk of MD in the co-twin, characteristics of the depressive episode, the pattern of co-morbidity and personality traits.
The individual symptomatic criteria showed widely varying associations with the pattern of co-morbidity, personality traits, features of the depressive episode and demographic characteristics. When examined separately, these two criteria groups showed robust differences in their patterns of association, with the validators with the cognitive criteria generally producing stronger associations than the neurovegetative.
Among depressed individuals, individual DSM-IV symptomatic criteria differ substantially in their predictive relationship with a range of clinical validators. These results challenge the equivalence assumption for the symptomatic criteria for MD and suggest a more than expected degree of ‘ covert ’ heterogeneity among these criteria. Part of this heterogeneity is captured by the distinction between cognitive versus neurovegetative symptoms, with cognitive symptoms being more strongly associated with most clinically relevant characteristics. Detailed psychometric evaluation of DSM-IV criteria is overdue.
Criteria symptoms; DSM-IV; heterogeneity; major depression; psychiatric diagnosis
Patients with neurological and non-neurological medical illnesses very often complain of depressive symptoms that are associated with cognitive and functional impairments. We compared the profile of depressive symptoms in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients with that of control subjects (CS) suffering from non-neurological medical illnesses.
One-hundred PD patients and 100 CS were submitted to a structured clinical interview for identification of major depressive disorder (MDD) and minor depressive disorder (MIND), according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR), criteria. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were also administered to measure depression severity.
When considering the whole groups, there were no differences in depressive symptom frequency between PD and CS apart from worthlessness/guilt, and changes in appetite reduced rates in PD. Further, total scores and psychic and somatic subscores of HDRS and BDI did not differ between PD and CS. After we separated PD and CS in those with MDD, MIND, and no depression (NODEP), comparing total scores and psychic/somatic subscores of HDRS and BDI, we found increased total depression severity in NODEP PD and reduced severity of the psychic symptoms of depression in MDD PD, with no differences in MIND. However, the severity of individual symptom frequency of depression was not different between PD and CS in MDD, MIND, and NODEP groups.
Although MDD and MIND phenomenology in PD may be very similar to that of CS with non-neurological medical illnesses, neurological symptoms of PD may worsen (or confound) depression severity in patients with no formal/structured DSM-IV-TR, diagnosis of depressive mood disorders. Thus, a thorough assessment of depression in PD should take into consideration the different impacts of neurological manifestations on MDD, MIND, and NODEP.
Parkinson’s disease; neuropsychiatry; depression; nonmotor symptoms
The current study explored the relationship between the polarity of the first episode and the timing of eventual diagnosis of bipolar I disorder, and associated clinical implications.
Twelve years of clinical data from the medical records of 258 inpatients meeting DSM-III-R or DSM-IV criteria for bipolar I disorder were analyzed. Subjects were divided into two groups according to the polarity of the first episode: those with depressive polarity (FE-D), and those with manic polarity (FE-M). Comparisons were made between the two groups on variables associated with the timing of diagnosis and related outcomes.
In population with bipolar I disorder, a significant longer time lapse from the first major mood episode to the confirmed diagnosis was associated with the FE-D group compared to the FE-M group [5.6 (±6.1) vs. 2.5 (±5.5) years, p<0.001]. FE-D subjects tended to have prior diagnoses of schizophrenia and major depressive disorder while FE-M subjects tended to have prior diagnoses of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. A significantly higher rate of suicide attempts was associated with the FE-D group compared to the FE-M group (12.7 vs. 1.7%, p<0.001).
The results of this study indicate that first-episode depressive polarity is likely to be followed by a considerable delay until an eventual confirmed diagnosis of bipolar I disorder. Given that first-episode depressive patients are particularly vulnerable to unfavorable clinical outcomes such as suicide attempts, a more systematic approach is needed to differentiate bipolar disorder among depressed patients in their early stages.
Bipolar disorder; Polarity; First episode; Diagnosis; Suicide
Severity is an important characteristic of major depression (MD) and an ‘episode specifier’ in DSM-IV classifying depressive episodes as ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’. These severity subtypes rely on three different measures of severity: number of criteria symptoms, severity of the symptoms and degree of functional disability. No prior empirical study has evaluated the coherence and validity of the DSM-IV definition of severity of MD.
In a sample of 1015 (518 males, 497 females) Caucasian twins from a population-based registry who met criteria for MD in the year prior to interview, factor analysis and logistic regression were conducted to examine the inter-relationships of the three severity measures and their associations with a wide range of potential validators including demographic factors, risk for future episodes, risk of MD in the co-twin, characteristics of the depressive episode, the pattern of co-morbidity, and personality traits.
Correlations between the three severity measures were significant but moderate. Factor analysis indicated the existence of a general severity factor, but the factor was not highly coherent. The three severity measures showed differential predictive ability for most of the validators.
Severity of MD as defined by the DSM-IV is a multifaceted and heterogeneous construct. The three proposed severity measures reflect partly overlapping but partly independent domains with differential validity as assessed by a wide range of clinical characteristics. Clinicians should probably use a combination of severity measures as proposed in DSM-IV rather than privileging one.
DSM-IV; major depression; psychiatric diagnosis; severity
Individuals with early-onset depression may be a clinically distinct group with particular symptom patterns, illness course, comorbidity and family history. This question has not been previously investigated in a Han Chinese population.
We examined the clinical features of 1970 Han Chinese women with DSM-IV major depressive disorder (MDD) between 30 and 60 years of age across China. Analysis of linear, logistic and multiple logistic regression models was used to determine the association between age at onset (AAO) with continuous, binary and discrete characteristic clinical features of MDD.
Earlier AAO was associated with more suicidal ideation and attempts and higher neuroticism, but fewer sleep, appetite and weight changes. Patients with an earlier AAO were more likely to suffer a chronic course (longer illness duration, more MDD episodes and longer index episode), increased rates of MDD in their parents and a lower likelihood of marriage. They tend to have higher comorbidity with anxiety disorders (general anxiety disorder, social phobia and agoraphobia) and dysthymia.
Early AAO in MDD may be an index of a more severe, highly comorbid and familial disorder. Our findings indicate that the features of MDD in China are similar to those reported elsewhere in the world.
Major depressive disorder; Age at onset; Symptom; Comorbidity
Late life depression, including patients with vascular depression, has been associated with higher levels of intima-media thickness (IMT). Although individuals with vascular depression tend to report a later onset of depression, the relationship of IMT and age of first depressive episode is uncertain in younger adults. We therefore investigated the relationship between IMT and age of first depressive episode in a sample of 202 adults (age range 40−81 years) with major depression (MDD).
Depression status was assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview Schedule and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Patients underwent a physical examination in which a medical history was obtained. IMT was measured from the left and right common carotid arteries. Simple regression analyses were used to investigate the association between IMT and self-reported age of first depressive episode.
IMT was associated with a later onset of first major depressive episode (b = .225, P = .0005) and this association remained significant after controlling for age, Framingham Stroke Risk Profile, smoking pack years, physical activity, high- and low-density lipoprotein, body mass index, triglyceride levels, and history of chronic medical conditions (b = .142, P = .028). Each .10 mm increase in IMT was associated with a 2.6-year later reported occurrence of first major depressive episode (MDE). Similarly, higher levels of IMT were associated with fewer previous MDEs (b = −.149, P = .020) and this effect remained significant in our multivariate model (b = −.140, P = .030). In contrast, IMT was not associated with current depressive severity (b = −.024, P = .720).
Greater levels of IMT are associated with a later onset of depression and fewer previous depressive episodes among middle-aged and older adults, independent of cardiovascular co-morbidities. These findings provide preliminary evidence that increased vascular burden may be associated with a later onset of depression.
Intima-media thickness; Vascular disease; Depression; Vascular depression
Overall, the clinical spectrum of depression during the perimenopause is not well characterized. This cross-sectional study examined the following: 1) clinical characteristics of women who presented to the NIMH midlife mood disorders clinic (between March 1990 and January 2004) with perimenopausal major and minor depressions; 2) the impact on these measures of either a prior episode of depression or the presence of hot flushes.
Historical variables, reproductive status, symptom ratings, and plasma hormone measures were examined in 116 women who met research criteria for perimenopause-related depression (a current episode of major or minor depression according to the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV or Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders supplemented with a past history form).
Clinical characteristics did not differ in those women with first onset (39%) versus recurrent depressions or in those with (57%) and without hot flushes. Depressive episodes clustered in the later stages of the menopause transition and the first year postmenopause. Seven (6%) women reported a past postpartum major depression, and 55% of women reported a history of premenstrual dysphoria (PMD).
We found no evidence that either hot flushes or a previous episode of depression conveys a distinct clinical profile in these women. The clustering of onsets of depression suggests that the hormone events that characterize the late menopause transition may be relevant to the onset of this form of depression. Finally, although we observed a high rate of PMD, neither postpartum depression nor PMD are consistent accompaniments of perimenopausal depression.
perimenopause; major depression; minor depression; hot flushes
Objectives: To assess the concurrent and the construct validity of the Euro-D in older Thai persons.
Method: Eight local psychiatrists used the major depressive episode section of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview to interview 150 consecutive psychiatric clinic attendees. A trained interviewer administered the Euro-D. We used receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis to assess the overall discriminability of the Euro-D scale and principal components factor analysis to assess its construct validity.
Results: The area under the ROC curve for the Euro-D with respect to major depressive episode was 0.78 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.70–0.90] indicating moderately good discriminability. At a cut-point of 5/6 the sensitivity for major depressive episodes is 84.3%, specificity 58.6%, and kappa 0.37 (95% CI 0.22–0.52) indicating fair concordance. However, at the 3/4 cut-point recommended from European studies there is high sensitivity (94%) but poor specificity (34%). The principal components analysis suggested four factors. The first two factors conformed to affective suffering (depression, suicidality and tearfulness) and motivation (interest, concentration and enjoyment). Sleep and appetite constituted a separate factor, whereas pessimism loaded on its own factor.
Conclusion: Among Thai psychiatric clinic attendees Euro-D is moderately valid for major depression. A much higher cut-point may be required than that which is usually advocated. The Thai version also shares two common factors as reported from most of previous studies.
aged; depressive disorders; Thailand; validation studies
The relationship between major depressive disorder (MDD) and dysthymia, a form of chronic depression, is complex. The two conditions are highly comorbid and it is unclear whether they are two separate disease entities. We investigated the extent to which patients with dysthymia superimposed on major depression can be distinguished from those with recurrent MDD.
We examined the clinical features in 1970 Han Chinese women with MDD (DSM-IV) between 30 and 60 years of age across China. Logistic regression was used to determine the association between clinical features of MDD and dysthymia and between dysthymia and disorders comorbid with major depression.
The 354 cases with dysthymia had more severe MDD than those without, with more episodes of MDD and greater co-morbidity for anxiety disorders. Patients with dysthymia had higher neuroticism scores and were more likely to have a family history of MDD. They were also more likely to have suffered serious life events.
Results were obtained in a clinically ascertained sample of Chinese women and may not generalize to community-acquired samples or to other populations. It is not possible to determine whether the associations represent causal relationships.
The additional diagnosis of dysthymia in Chinese women with recurrent MDD defines a meaningful and potentially important subtype. We conclude that in some circumstances it is possible to distinguish double depression from recurrent MDD.
Major depressive disorder; Dysthymia; Symptom; Comorbidity
While a recent task force report recommended that remission from major depression be defined according to DSM criteria, most previous work has used depressive symptom rating scales. The current study sought to identify baseline factors associated with treatment outcome in major depression, diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria.
Data from the Primary Care Research in Substance Abuse and Mental Health for the Elderly (PRISM-E) study were utilized. This analysis focused on 792 geriatric primary care patients with major depression at baseline, who were randomized to services by a mental health professional in primary care or specialty settings. Major depression was diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria based on a structured interview at baseline and six months. The primary outcome was the absence of any DSM-IV depressive disorder at six-month follow-up. Association with baseline demographic characteristics, comorbid anxiety disorder, “at risk” drinking, number of co-occurring medical conditions, and depressive symptom severity was examined using multiple logistic regression modeling.
Remission occurred in 228 (29%) patients with completed follow-up assessments, while 564 (71%) did not remit. Factors which increased the odds of non-remission included comorbid anxiety (OR=1.60, 95%CI 1.11–2.31), female sex (OR=1.49, 95%CI 1.04–2.15), general medical comorbidity (OR=1.15, 95%CI 1.07–1.24), and increased baseline depressive symptom severity (OR=1.04, 95%CI 1.03–1.06).
The findings underscore the importance of using DSM criteria to define remission from major depression, and suggest that concurrent measurement of depression severity, comorbid anxiety and medical comorbidity are important in identifying patients requiring targeted interventions to optimize remission from major depression.
depression; remission; primary care; aged
Although some studies indicate that bipolar disorder causes high health care resources consumption, no study is available addressing a cost estimation of bipolar disorder in Spain. The aim of this observational study was to evaluate healthcare resource utilization and the associated direct cost in patients with manic episodes in the Spanish setting.
Retrospective descriptive study was carried out in a consecutive sample of patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of bipolar type I disorder with or without psychotic symptoms, aged 18 years or older, and who were having an active manic episode at the time of inclusion. Information regarding the current manic episode was collected retrospectively from the medical record and patient interview.
Seven hundred and eighty-four evaluable patients, recruited by 182 psychiatrists, were included in the study. The direct cost associated with healthcare resource utilization during the manic episode was high, with a mean cost of nearly €4,500 per patient, of which approximately 55% corresponded to the cost of hospitalization, 30% to the cost of psychopharmacological treatment and 10% to the cost of specialized care.
Our results show the high cost of management of the patient with a manic episode, which is mainly due to hospitalizations. In this regard, any intervention on the management of the manic patient that could reduce the need for hospitalization would have a significant impact on the costs of the disease.
This study was designed to evaluate the psychiatrists' level of recognition of somatic symptoms associated to a major depressive episode (MDE) (DSM-IV-TR criteria) and the impact of those somatic symptoms on the treatment effectiveness.
This non-interventional study was conducted in 25 medical offices in Puerto Rico from February to December 2003. It had 2 visits separated by 8 weeks. The level of recognition was determined by: the correlation between the physician clinical evaluation and their patients' self-evaluations through different validated instruments using kappa statistics. Chi-square test was used to evaluate the impact of somatic symptoms on treatment antidepressants' effectiveness.
All the 145 recruited patients reported the presence of at least one somatic symptom associated with their current MDE. In the two visits covered by the study, a fair agreement between the psychiatrists' and the patients' reports was noted for headache, abdominal pain and upper limb pains (0.4003 ≤ κ ≥ 0.6594). For other painful symptoms and painless somatic symptoms, the Kappa values obtained were non-significant. Slight but significant reductions in depression and painful symptoms severity were observed after 8 weeks of treatment. A proportional relationship between the pain and depression severity was observed (p < 0.0001).
The study results show that somatic symptoms: are very common in depressed Puerto Rican patients; are significant under-reported by psychiatrists; and have a significant impact on the antidepressant effectiveness.
It is unclear whether direct structured interviews are able to capture the full range of psychopathology in schizophrenia, as is required in diagnostic assessments or clinical ratings. We examined agreement between symptom ratings derived from direct patient interviews and from review of casenotes.
The study sample comprised 1021 schizophrenic subjects collected as part of the Irish Case-Control Study of Schizophrenia (ICCSS). Diagnostic interviews utilized a modified version of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R. Symptoms were rated by the interviewer. In addition, the Casenote Rating Scale was used to rate symptoms based on medical record information. For each negative and positive symptom, we calculated the Pearson correlation between the interview and the casenote rating. Using the mean of the interview and casenote rating for each symptom, exploratory factor analysis using Varimax rotation was performed.
Three factors were extracted in factor analysis: positive, negative, and Schneiderian symptoms. The highest correlations between interview and casenote ratings were for negative symptoms, in which all symptoms were significantly correlated. Positive and Schneiderian symptoms were significantly correlated with the exception of thought insertion, thought withdrawal, voices speaking in sentences, and somatic hallucinations. Significant correlations were generally moderate (0.2–0.55)
Most schizophrenic symptoms, especially negative symptoms, can be assessed by direct interviews as the sole source of information with moderate reliability. However, the presence of some Schneiderian and possibly less prevalent positive symptoms may be difficult to determine without a review of records, which may include longitudinal observations and information from multiple observers.
schizophrenia; clinical features; structured interview; factor analysis
This article provides data on a depression screening model (HOME) in acute home health care designed to detect clinical depression among medically ill homebound older patients. The model was developed to address the lack of mental health services in home health care settings and to specifically improve geriatric depression screening as part of routine care. Authors report on the concordance of homecare and research interview ratings of depression in older homecare patients.
Design and Methods
Using a prospective cohort design, data were collected from 289 elderly patients, aged 65 and older, from a large home health care agency to examine depression, cognitive functioning, medical comorbidity, functional status, and social isolation. Research interviews used the depression module of the structured clinical interview for DSM (SCID).
The overall prevalence of major depression was 5.7 percent according to both homecare and research raters. The prevalence of subthreshold depressive disorder was 16.4 percent as reported by research raters. Observed agreement was 73 percent and kappa agreement was 0.42, indicating a fair to moderate agreement. We identified patient characteristics that may influence the accuracy of homecare worker estimates of depressive symptoms.
Findings suggest that depression continues to be underdetected in medically ill homebound elderly patients. Ongoing training in depression screening methods, patient follow-up interviews, and appropriate referral would improve care of depressed elderly homecare patients.
depression; home healthcare; medically ill; older adults
This study concerns the question of whether obese subjects in a community sample experience depression in a different way from the non-obese, especially whether they over-eat to the point of gaining weight during periods of depression.
A representative sample of adults was interviewed regarding depression and obesity.
The sample consisted of 1396 subjects whose interviews were studied regarding relationships between obesity and depression and among whom 114 had experienced a Major Depressive Episode at some point in their lives and provided information about the symptoms experienced during the worst or only episode of Major Depression.
The Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS) was used to identify Major Depressive Episodes. Information was also derived from the section on Depression and Anxiety (DPAX) of the Stirling Study Schedule. Obesity was calculated as a Body Mass Index (BMI) >30. Logistic regressions were employed to assess relationships, controlling for age and gender, by means of Odds Ratios and 95% Confidence Intervals.
In the sample as a whole, obesity was not related to depression although it was associated with the symptom of hopelessness. Among those who had ever experienced a Major Depressive Episode, obese persons were 5 times more likely than the non-obese to over-eat leading to weight gain during a period of depression (p <0.002). These obese subjects, compared to the non-obese, also experienced longer episodes of depression, a larger number of episodes, and were more preoccupied with death during such episodes.
Depression among obese subjects in a community sample tends to be more severe than among the non-obese. Gaining weight while depressed is an important marker of that severity. Further research is needed to understand and possibly prevent the associations, sequences, and outcomes among depression, obesity, weight gain, and other adversities.
Obesity; Major Depression; Over-eating; Gaining Weight; Atypical Depression
Although depression appears to decrease in late life, this could be due to misattribution of depressive symptoms to physical disorders that increase in late life.
We investigated this issue by studying age differences in comorbidity of DSM-IV major depressive episodes (MDE) with chronic physical conditions in the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) surveys, a series of community epidemiological surveys carried out in 10 developed countries (n = 51,771) and 8 developing countries (n = 37,265). MDE and other mental disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Organic exclusion rules were not used to avoid inappropriate exclusion of cases with physical comorbidity. Physical conditions were assessed with a standard chronic conditions checklist.
Twelve-month DSM-IV/CIDI MDE was significantly less prevalent among respondents ages 65+ than younger respondents in developed but not developing countries. Prevalence of comorbid mental disorders generally either decreased or remained stable with age, while comorbidity of MDE with mental disorders generally increased with age. Prevalence of physical conditions, in comparison, generally increased with age, while comorbidity of MDE with physical conditions generally decreased with age. Depression treatment was lowest among the elderly in developed and developing countries.
The weakening associations between MDE and physical conditions with increasing age argue against the suggestion that the low estimated prevalence of MDE among the elderly is due to increased confounding with physical disorders. Future study is needed to investigate processes that might lead to a decreasing impact of physical illness on depression among the elderly.
Elderly; Depression; Disability; Comorbidity; Epidemiology
Reports suggest women with bipolar disorder (BD) have high rates of perimenstrual mood worsening. In this prospective study, the authors compared healthy controls and depressed and euthymic BD patients on medications on mood levels, psychosocial function, and physical symptoms in the late luteal versus the early follicular phase.
At baseline, the lifetime diagnosis of bipolar I disorder or bipolar II disorder, current mood episode, and absence of premenstrual dysphoric disorder in controls were confirmed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Disorders. Subjects were assessed across three menstrual cycles during the late luteal and early follicular phases. Clinicians administered the Structured Interview Guide for the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and the Mania Rating Scale to assess levels of depression and hypomania/mania, respectively. Subjects completed self-report ratings on psychosocial function and perceived stress and tracked daily mood and physical symptoms on the National Institute of Mental Health LifeChart and the Daily Rating Form. Ovulation was verified objectively with mid-cycle luteinizing hormone urine dipsticks and serum progesterone levels.
The sample characteristics were similar among the three patient groups of healthy controls (10 patients), BD-euthymic (6), and BD-depressed (5). The two-way analysis of variance indicated a significant difference among the diagnostic groups on depression scores, psychosocial functioning, and levels of perceived stress. There was no significant difference for menstrual phase or the interaction of menstrual phase by diagnostic group.
Mood symptom level, psychosocial functioning, perceived stress, and physical discomfort were unrelated to menstrual phase in patients with BD. Appropriate maintenance treatment may prevent menstrual related mood symptoms. Use of an objective marker of ovulation is critical for research involving menstrual related outcomes.
bipolar disorder; follicular phase; luteal phase; menstrual cycle; women
Years of education are inversely related to the prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD), but the relationship between the clinical features of MDD and educational status is poorly understood. We investigated this in 1970 Chinese women with recurrent MDD identified in a clinical setting.
Clinical and demographic features were obtained from 1970 Han Chinese women with DSM-IV major depression between 30 and 60 years of age across China. Analysis of linear, logistic and multiple logistic regression models were used to determine the association between educational level and clinical features of MDD.
Subjects with more years of education are more likely to have MDD, with an odds ratio of 1.14 for those with more than ten years. Low educational status is not associated with an increase in the number of episodes, nor with increased rates of co-morbidity with anxiety disorders. Education impacts differentially on the symptoms of depression: lower educational attainment is associated with more biological symptoms and increased suicidal ideation and plans to commit suicide.
Findings may not generalize to males or to other patient populations. Since the threshold for treatment seeking differs as a function of education there may an ascertainment bias in the sample.
The relationship between symptoms of MDD and educational status in Chinese women is unexpectedly complex. Our findings are inconsistent with the simple hypothesis from European and US reports that low levels of educational attainment increase the risk and severity of MDD.
Major depressive disorder; Education; Socio-economic status; Symptom
Symptoms of an eating disorder (hyperphagia, carbohydrate craving, and weight gain) are characteristic of wintertime depression. Recent findings suggest that the severity of bulimia nervosa peaks during fall and winter months, and that persons with this disorder respond to treatment with bright artificial light. However, the rates of eating disorders among patients presenting for the treatment of winter depression are unknown. This study was undertaken to determine these rates among 47 patients meeting the DSM-III-R criteria for major depression with a seasonal pattern. All were evaluated using standard clinical interviews and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R. Twelve (25.5%) patients met the DSM-III-R criteria for an eating disorder. Eleven patients had onset of mood disorder during childhood or adolescence. The eating disorder followed the onset of the mood disorder. Clinicians should inquire about current and past symptoms of eating disorders when evaluating patients with winter depression.
The present study investigates how consistently DSM-IV major depression (MDD) with psychosis was diagnosed by research consensus across 10 years and the association of clinical characteristics with diagnostic consistency.
The sample included 146 participants, part of a larger first admission cohort (N=628) presenting with psychosis, who were diagnosed with psychotic depression at least once across 4 assessments spanning 10 years (after first admission, at 6-month, 24-month, and 10-year follow-ups). Diagnoses at each assessment were determined from semi-structured interviews, medical records, and informant reports.
Fifty-five (37.7%) of the 146 were diagnosed with psychotic depression at each available assessment, 13(8.9%) switched from MDD to bipolar disorder, 24 (16.4%) switched from MDD to schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, and the remaining 54 (37.0%) had other patterns of diagnostic change. Only 47 (58.8%) of 80 participants diagnosed with MDD at baseline retained a mood disorder diagnosis 10 years later (36 or 45.0% had MDD and 11 or 13.8% had bipolar disorder), while 16 (30.8%) of 52 participants who ended the study with MDD were initially misdiagnosed. Those switching from MDD to bipolar disorder had better premorbid adjustment, more first degree relatives with MDD, better functioning, and fewer negative symptoms at baseline, whereas those shifting to the schizophrenia spectrum had a more insidious onset, longer initial hospital stays, worse functioning, and more negative symptoms.
The diagnosis of MDD with psychosis among inpatients showed poor long-term consistency. For clinicians, results indicate that the diagnosis of MDD with psychosis based on a single assessment should be considered provisional.
Previous research suggests that patients with psychotic major depression (PMD) may differ from those with nonpsychotic major depression (NMD) not only in terms psychotic features, but also in their depressive symptom presentation. The present study contrasted the rates and severity of depressive symptoms in outpatients diagnosed with PMD versus NMD.
The sample consisted of 1,112 patients diagnosed with major depression, of which 60 (5.3%) exhibited psychotic features. Depressive symptoms were assessed by trained diagnosticians at intake using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV and supplemented by severity items from the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia.
PMD patients were more likely to endorse the presence of weight loss, insomnia, psychomotor agitation, indecisiveness, and suicidality compared to NMD patients. Furthermore, PMD patient showed higher levels of severity on several depressive symptoms, including depressed mood, appetite loss, insomnia, psychomotor disturbances (agitation and retardation), fatigue, worthlessness, guilt, cognitive disturbances (concentration and indecisiveness), hopelessness, and suicidal ideation. The presence of psychomotor disturbance, insomnia, indecisiveness, and suicidal ideation were predictive of diagnostic status even after controlling for the effects of demographic characteristics and other symptoms.
These findings are consistent with past research suggesting that PMD is characterized by a unique depressive symptom profile in addition to psychotic features and higher levels of overall depression severity. The identification of specific depressive symptoms in addition to delusions/hallucinations that can differentiate PMD versus NMD patients can aid in the early detection of the disorder. These investigations also provide insights into potential treatment targets for this high-risk population.