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Depression and socio-economic risk factors: 7-year longitudinal population study

  • Vincent Lorant (a1), Christophe Croux (a2), Scott Weich (a3), Denise Deliège (a4), Johan Mackenbach (a5) and Marc Ansseau (a6)...
Abstract
Background

Low socio-economic status is associated with a higher prevalence of depression, but it is not yet known whether change in socio-economic status leads to a change in rates of depression.

Aims

To assess whether longitudinal change in socio-economic factors affects change of depression level.

Method

In a prospective cohort study using the annual Belgian Household Panel Survey (1992–1999), depression was assessed using the Global Depression Scale. Socio-economic factors were assessed with regard to material standard of living, education, employment status and social relationships.

Results

A lowering in material standard of living between annual waves was associated with increases in depressive symptoms and caseness of major depression. Life circumstances also influenced depression. Ceasing to cohabit with a partner increased depressive symptoms and caseness, and improvement in circumstances reduced them; the negative effects were stronger than the positive ones.

Conclusions

The study showed a clear relationship between worsening socio-economic circumstances and depression.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Vincent Lorant, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Université Catholique de Louvain, Clos Chapelle aux champs 30.41, 1200 Brussels, Belgium. Tel: +32 2 7643263; fax: +32 2 7643183; email: lorant@sesa.ucl.ac.be
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
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Depression and socio-economic risk factors: 7-year longitudinal population study

  • Vincent Lorant (a1), Christophe Croux (a2), Scott Weich (a3), Denise Deliège (a4), Johan Mackenbach (a5) and Marc Ansseau (a6)...
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