The influence of age, sex and education on the phenomenology of depressive symptoms in a population-based sample aged 75+ years with major depression: the Pietà Study

Filipi Leles da Costa Dias, Antônio Lúcio Teixeira, Henrique Cerqueira Guimarães, Ana Paula Borges Santos, Elisa de Paula França Resende, João Carlos Barbosa Machado, Maira Tonidandel Barbosa, Paulo Caramelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Late-life depression (LLD) is the most common mental disorder among the elderly, but its clinical features remain unclear, especially among older adults. We sought to investigate if age, sex and education could influence the severity or frequency of LLD symptoms. Methods: We evaluated 639 community-dwelling individuals aged 75+ years in Caeté (MG), Brazil. We used the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview to diagnose major depression according to DSM-IV criteria and the GDS-15 to measure depression severity. Results: Excluding 174 individuals diagnosed with dementia, 54 (11.6%) of the remaining 457 individuals were diagnosed with LLD; 77.8% of which were female. On average, these participants were aged 81.0 ± 4.8 years and had 2.7 ± 3.3 years of schooling. Symptom severity was not influenced by sociodemographic variables. Death/suicidal ideation was more frequent among men, while psychomotor disturbance was more present in women (p = 0.04 and p = 0.042). More educated individuals (≥ 4 years) also reported a higher frequency of psychomotor disturbance (p = 0.039). Conclusions: Severity of depressive episode was not influenced by sociodemographic variables. Sex and educational level had a significant impact on symptom profiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-467
Number of pages6
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • age
  • education
  • Late-life depression
  • phenomenology
  • sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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