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Physical health and depressive symptoms in older Europeans: Results from EURODEP

  • A. W. Braam (a1), M. J. Prince (a2), A. T. F. Beekman (a1), P. Delespaul (a3), M. E. Dewey (a2), S. W. Geerlings (a1), S.-L. Kivelä (a4), B. A. Lawlor (a5), H. Magnússon (a6), I. Meller (a7), K. Pérès (a8), F. M. Reischies (a9), M. Roelands (a10), R. A. Schoevers (a1), P. Saz (a11), I. Skoog (a12), C. Turrina (a13), A. Versporten (a10) and J. R. M. Copelan (a14)...

Abstract

Background

Associations between physical health and depression are consistent across cultures among adults up to 65 years of age. In later life, the impact of physical health on depression is much more substantial and may depend on sociocultural factors.

Aims

To examine cross-national differences in the association between physical health and depressive symptoms in elderly people across western Europe.

Method

Fourteen community-based studies on depression in later life in nine western European countries contributed to a total study sample of 22 570 respondents aged 65 years and older. Measures were harmonised for depressive symptoms (EURO-D scale), functional limitations and chronic physical conditions.

Results

In the majority of the participating samples, the association of depressive symptoms with functional disability was stronger than with chronic physical conditions. Associations were slightly more pronounced in the UK and Ireland.

Conclusions

The association between physical health and depressive symptoms in later life is consistent across western Europe.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

A. W. Braam, LASA/EMGO, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 11081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 (0)20 4446770; Fax: +31 (0)20 4446775; e-mail: a.braam@vumc.nl

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes

References

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Physical health and depressive symptoms in older Europeans: Results from EURODEP

  • A. W. Braam (a1), M. J. Prince (a2), A. T. F. Beekman (a1), P. Delespaul (a3), M. E. Dewey (a2), S. W. Geerlings (a1), S.-L. Kivelä (a4), B. A. Lawlor (a5), H. Magnússon (a6), I. Meller (a7), K. Pérès (a8), F. M. Reischies (a9), M. Roelands (a10), R. A. Schoevers (a1), P. Saz (a11), I. Skoog (a12), C. Turrina (a13), A. Versporten (a10) and J. R. M. Copelan (a14)...
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