Prevalence of depression and its correlates in Hong Kong's Chinese older adults

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2005 May;13(5):409-16. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajgp.13.5.409.


Objective: Because of the rapid aging of the population and inconsistent findings of previous epidemiological studies in Hong Kong, a prevalence study of depression among older adults was timely. The authors assessed the prevalence of depression among older adults and identified factors associated with it.

Methods: The authors interviewed a random representative sample of 917 community-dwelling Chinese adults age 60 and over. The 15-item Chinese Geriatric Depression Scale with a cutoff of > or = 8 was used to identify clinically significant depression in the older adults.

Results: The authors found that 11.0% and 14.5% of older Chinese men and women, respectively, scored above the cutoff, a prevalence rate similar to those found in other countries, including the United States, England, and Finland. Factors that were associated with an increased likelihood of depression among older adults included poor self-rated health, long-term pain, vision problems, higher level of impairment in activities of daily living, residing in Hong Kong less than 20 years, financial strain, and having less social support.

Conclusions: The prevalence rate of depression among older Chinese adults in Hong Kong is more or less similar to rates found in Western countries. The data suggest that older adults who receive less social support are more likely to be depressed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian People / psychology*
  • Asian People / statistics & numerical data
  • Causality
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Status Schedule / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors