Objectives: We sought to determine the association of depression and anxiety with "area deprivation" (neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation) and population density among people older than 75 years in Britain.
Methods: Postal codes were used to link census area information to individual data on depression and anxiety in 13349 people aged 75 years and older taking part in a trial of health screening.
Results: Living in the most socioeconomically deprived areas was associated with depression (OR=1.4), but this relation disappeared after adjusting for individual deprivation characteristics. There was no association with anxiety. Living in the highest density and intermediate low-density areas was associated with depression (OR=1.6 and 1.5) and anxiety (OR=1.5 and 1.3) compared with the lowest density areas.
Conclusions: An association between area deprivation and depression in older people was explained by individual health, demographic, and socioeconomic factors. Higher population density was consistently associated with increased depression and anxiety.