J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  1999 Sep;38(5):1063-1070.

Factors Affecting the Severity of Depressive Symptoms in the Elderly

  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.


The depressive symptoms are frequent and important ones in the elderly population. We studied the various factors affecting the severity of depressive symptoms in the elderly population. The Korean elderly (more than 65 years old; n=490) in Seoul area (city) were studied on the identifying data and medical and psychiatric history, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) Korean Depression Scale(KDS: under development)were also administered. In our study, the significant effect of sex, age, education, marital status, and the status of medical security on the severity of depressive symptoms were not found. Significantly higher GDS and KDS scores were found in the elderly who have more than one physical illness, subjective memory complaints, and seven life events. To examine the strength of association of these variables of depression, we conducted logistic regression. Depressive symptoms were associated with 1)the loss of spouse, 2)a current physical illness, and 3)low socioeconomic status. These results showed that depression in the elderly may be correlated with the loss of spouse, a current physical illness, and low socioeconomic status.


Depressive factor; Elderly; Severity
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