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Depression in Europe: Geographical distribution among older people

  • J. R. M. Copeland (a1), A. T. F. Beekman (a2), M. E. Dewey (a1), C. Hooijer (a3), A. Jordan, B. A. Lawlor (a4), A. Lobo (a5), H. Magnusson (a6), A. H. Mann (a7), I. Meller (a8), M. J. Prince (a9), F. Reischies (a10), C. Turrina (a11), M. W. Devries (a12) and K. C. M. Wilson (a1)...

Abstract

Background

This is the first report of results from the EURODEP Programme.

Aims

To assess the prevalence of depression judged suitable for intervention in randomised samples of those aged ⩾65 in nine European centres.

Method

The GMS-AGECAT package.

Results

Differences in prevalence are apparent, 8.8% (Iceland) to 23.6% (Munich). When sub-cases and cases are added together, five high- and four low-scoring centres emerge. Women predominated over men. Proportions of sub-cases to cases revealed striking differences but did not explain prevalence. There was no constant association between prevalence and age. A meta-analysis (n=13 808) gave an overall prevalence of 12. 3%, 14.1% for women and 8.6% for men.

Conclusions

Considerable variation occurs in the levels of depression across Europe, the cause for which is not immediately obvious. Case and sub-case levels taken together show greater variability, suggesting that it is not a matter of case/sub-case selection criteria, which were standardised by computer. Substantial levels of depression are shown but 62–82% of persons had no depressive level. Opportunities for treatment exist.

Copyright

Corresponding author

J. Copeland, Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Human Ageing, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GA

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

The European Commission BIOMEDI initiative funded this Concerted Action Programme.

Footnotes

References

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Depression in Europe: Geographical distribution among older people

  • J. R. M. Copeland (a1), A. T. F. Beekman (a2), M. E. Dewey (a1), C. Hooijer (a3), A. Jordan, B. A. Lawlor (a4), A. Lobo (a5), H. Magnusson (a6), A. H. Mann (a7), I. Meller (a8), M. J. Prince (a9), F. Reischies (a10), C. Turrina (a11), M. W. Devries (a12) and K. C. M. Wilson (a1)...
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