a1 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
This survey examines changes in depressive symptomatology (CES-D) during bereavement in 1046 elderly subjects, of whom 139 became widowed during follow-up. Depression scores increased during the first year of bereavement, but generally returned to pre-widowhood levels thereafter. However, depression scores remained elevated among young-old widows (65–74year-olds) well after the first year of widowhood. Using cut-off scores, rates of high depressive symptoms remained somewhat elevated over baseline levels. Increases in depression scores during bereavement were not explained by socio-economic variables, health habits and health status. It is concluded that particularly young-old widows are at risk of developing chronic depressive symptomatology during bereavement that may warrant clinical attention.
c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Carlos F. Mendes de Leon, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, 60 College Street, PO Box 208034, New Haven, CT 06520–8034, USA