a1 School of Psychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Perth, WA, Australia
a2 Western Australian Centre for Health & Ageing, Centre for Medical Research, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Perth, WA, Australia
a3 Department of Psychiatry, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, WA, Australia
a4 School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
a5 School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
a6 Discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia
a7 Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age, St Vincent's Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
a8 School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
a9 School of Medical Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA, Australia
a10 Discipline of General Practice, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia
a11 School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
a12 School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Perth, WA, Australia
a13 Department of Geriatric Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, WA, Australia
Background: This study aimed to determine: (1) the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and depression associated with anxiety (DA); (2) the risk factor profile of depression, anxiety, and DA; (3) the course of depression, anxiety, and DA over 24 months.
Methods: Two-year longitudinal study of 20,036 adults aged 60+ years. We used the Patient Health Questionnaire and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale anxiety subscale to establish the presence of depression and anxiety, and standard procedures to collect demographic, lifestyle, psychosocial, and clinical data.
Results: The prevalence of anxiety, depression, and DA was 4.7%, 1.4%, and 1.8%. About 57% of depression cases showed evidence of comorbid anxiety, while only 28% of those with clinically significant anxiety had concurrent depression. There was not only an overlap in the distribution of risk factors in these diagnostic groups but also differences. We found that 31%, 23%, and 35% of older adults with anxiety, depression, and DA showed persistence of symptoms after two years. Repeated anxiety was more common in women and repeated depression in men. Socioeconomic stressors were common in repeated DA.
Conclusions: Clinically significant anxiety and depression are distinct conditions that frequently coexist in later life; when they appear together, older adults endure a more chronic course of illness.
(Received March 22 2012)
(Revised May 07 2012)
(Revised May 14 2012)
(Accepted May 14 2012)
(Online publication June 12 2012)
c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Professor Osvaldo P. Almeida, Western Australian Centre for Health & Ageing (M573), Centre for Medical Research, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, Perth, WA 6009, Australia. Phone: +61 8 9224 2855; Fax: +61 8 9224 8009. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.