Local area deprivation and urban-rural differences in anxiety and depression among people older than 75 years in Britain

Am J Public Health. 2004 Oct;94(10):1768-74. doi: 10.2105/ajph.94.10.1768.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*