Korean J Biol Psychiatry.  2010 Aug;17(3):145-152.

Comparison of Clinical Symptoms between Early and Late Onset Depression in Elderly Depressive Patients in Korea

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. leeminso@korea.ac.kr


Clinical differences between elderly patients with early and late onset depression have been described although these have been inconsistent. We aimed to compare differences of clinical symptoms using the 17 items Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression(HAM-D-17) between two groups.
Data of 175 elderly patients with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder according to DSM-IV from January 2005 to November 2009 were collected. Seventy five patients were early onset depression and one hundred patients were late onset depression. Depressive symptoms were assessed by the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for depression.
There were some differences in HAM-D-17 scores between early and late onset depression. Early onset depression patients scored significantly higher in retardation(t = 2.41, p = 0.017) and somatic symptoms( general)(t = 2.37, p = 0.019) than late onset depression patients.
We concluded that early onset depression patients have more severe psychomotor retardation and general somatic symptoms than late onset depression patients in Korea. Because of some limitations of this study, further investigations will be needed to validate this study results.


Geriatric depression; Early onset depression; Late onset depression
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