Background: Population ageing and rural-urban migration are accelerating in many non-Western nations. This study aimed to investigate: (i) the association between lifetime urban/rural residence and late-life depression in Korea and (ii) modification of associations between depression and social support by lifetime residence.
Methods: 1204 urban/rural residents aged 65+were interviewed and GMS-AGECAT diagnoses made. Previous areas of residence were recorded and social support deficits quantified.
Results: Depression was present in 9% and 21% of the rural and urban samples respectively. For the urban sample, depression was not associated with earlier urban/rural residence. Social support deficits were most strongly associated with depression in people with a lifetime rural residence, followed by urban residents with a rural birthplace.
Conclusions: Prevalence rates of depression were increased in the urban sample regardless of previous urban/rural residence. Reduced social support was particularly strongly associated with depression in people with a rural upbringing.