Dementia and depression: two frequent disorders of the aged in primary health care in Greece

Fam Pract. 2001 Feb;18(1):87-91. doi: 10.1093/fampra/18.1.87.


Background: Dementia and depression are very common disorders among elderly people and their presence decreases the well-being of the aged.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the magnitude of dementia and depression among elderly people living in different settings in the catchment area of the Chrisoupolis health centre (HCCh) in northern Greece.

Methods: A total of 536 patients aged 65 years and over, including 48 subjects living in an old people's home, 75 subjects who were taking part in the activities of the open centre for the elderly and 413 subjects randomly selected from those visiting the HCCh, were interviewed by the primary health care team of the HCCh. Medical and family history data were recorded, while cognitive and mood disorders were assessed by using the Mini Mental State Examination and Geriatric Depression Screening Scale.

Results: At the time of the examination, 37.6% of the men and 41.6% of the women showed various degrees of cognitive impairment, while 29.9% of the women and 19.6% of the men showed mild to moderate depression. Diabetes mellitus and hypertension frequently were found to co-exist with depression and dementia.

Conclusion: The results reaffirm that there is a high prevalence of the studied mental disorders in older patients in the out-patient setting in Greece. A set of recommendations to Greek GPs has now been formulated, with specific emphasis on the use of different screening tools and the appropriate treatment of the most frequently co-existing chronic diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Dementia / epidemiology*
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Prevalence