Effects of age on symptoms of anxiety and depression in a sample of retired police officers

Psychol Aging. 2005 Jun;20(2):202-10. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.20.2.202.


This study addressed the effects of age on anxiety and depressive symptoms. The analysis was based on the responses of 1,334 retired male Scottish police officers (34-94 years old) to the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine the partialed linear and curvilinear effects of symptoms of, separately, anxiety and depression on age and retirement variables. Significant partialed effects of retirement type and present age were found. Early retirement was a vulnerability factor for both disorders. The authors found a consistent linear reduction in anxiety across age and a U-shaped function for depression across age. The differing profiles and independent effects of age on anxiety and depression are consistent with their status as separate entities. Respondents were increasingly susceptible to depression from the mid-50s onward, whereas susceptibility to anxiety was reduced with age.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Police
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retirement / psychology*
  • Risk Factors