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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


DUARTE, Meirelayne Borges  and  REGO, Marco Antônio Vasconcelos. Depression and clinical illness: comorbidity in a geriatric outpatient clinic. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.23, n.3, pp.691-700. ISSN 1678-4464.

The aim of this study was to investigate the association between depression and clinical illness among a group of elderly in the city of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. The study population included 1,120 individuals over 60 years of age treated at a geriatric outpatient clinic. Crude and stratified prevalence ratios were calculated. Data were stratified by gender, age, and nutritional status. Ninety-five percent of the sample presented at least one chronic disease, the most frequent being hypertension (62.2%), osteoarthritis (40%), and urinary incontinence (35%). Depression was diagnosed in 23.4%, more commonly among women (PR = 1.28; 95%CI: 0.99-1.65) and those under 75 years (PR = 1.24; 95%CI: 1.00-1.53). There was an association between number of chronic diseases (> 3) and depression (PR = 1.31; 95%CI: 1.04-1.66). Parkinson's disease was associated with depression, more evident among females (PR = 1.59; 95%CI: 1.05-2.41) and in the 70-79-year age group (PR = 2.02; 95%CI: 1.28-3.20). The study demonstrates an association between depression and chronic comorbidity. Since many elderly present multiple chronic diseases, health professionals should be alert to the possibility of depressive symptoms in these patients.

Keywords : Aged; Aging Health; Chronic Disease; Depression.

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