Background: Depression is the commonest psychiatric disorder in the elderly. We attempted to analyze the prevalence and correlates of depression in the north Indian elderly.
Methods: An observational study was carried out taking cases from patients attending the geriatric clinic for the first time. Depression was diagnosed by the Geriatric Depression Score short form (≥5). Various epidemiological parameters were assessed in 504 subjects (M = 304, F = 200; mean age = 66.47±13.71 years).
Results: Depression prevalence was 45%. A significant correlation was found between depression prevalence and gender (F>M, p=0.011), level of education (p=0.002), marital status (p<0.001) and insomnia (p<0.001) on univariate analysis. On binomial logistic regression analysis, marital status (widowed > married, p=0.008) and insomnia (present > absent, p<0.001) showed significant correlation with depression prevalence.
Conclusion: Our study highlights certain epidemiological aspects of depression in the aged Indian population presenting to the tertiary hospital. Spousal loss and insomnia are documented as possible depression risks but longitudinal studies are needed to confirm the same.
Keywords: Geriatrics, Depression, Epidemiology, Geriatric Depression Score, Prevalence, Logistic Regression