Background: No previous attempt has been made to synthesise information on mortality and neurosis in older people. Our objective was to estimate the influence on mortality of various types of neurosis in the older population.
Methods: Data sources were: Medline; Embase; and personal files. Studies were considered if they included a majority of persons aged 65 and over at baseline either drawn from a total community sample or drawn from a random sample from the community. Studies which sampled from a larger age range were also included if it was possible to retrieve results about those aged 65 and over. Samples from health care facilities were excluded. Effect sizes were extracted from the papers and if they were not included in the published papers effect sizes were calculated if possible. No attempt was made to contact authors for missing data.
Results: We found seven reports (six of which used a neurosis diagnosis and one which used a symptom scale). Using Fisher's method we found an increase in mortality which was not significant (p = 0.08).
Conclusion: There have been few studies, and the evidence is weakly in favour of an increased mortality risk.
Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.