Background/purpose: Information about sex difference is important for the development of better prevention and intervention strategies for geriatric depression. We investigated sex differences in prevalence and risk indicators associated with geriatric depression among community-dwelling elderly people in Shih-Pai, Taipei, Taiwan.
Methods: A cross-sectional community-based survey was conducted from June 1999 to November 2002 among non-institutionalized residents aged =65 years in Shih-Pai community. Trained interviewers collected data through home visits. Geriatric depression was defined as a score of = 5 on the Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form.
Results: The prevalence of geriatric depression was 9.8% in 3970 participants, with a higher rate in women (12.4%) than men (7.8%). Geriatric depression was significantly associated with women [odds ratio (OR) =1.49, 95% confidence interval (CI) =1.07-2.07), separated/divorced marital status (OR =3.29, 95% CI = 1.51-7.18), living alone (OR = 2.56, 95% CI = 1.38-4.77), past history of stroke (OR = 3.63, 95% CI = 2.09-6.31), and cognitive impairment (OR =2.83, 95% CI =1.96-4.09). Living alone (OR = 3.56, 95% CI = 1.48-8.57), living with children (OR = 1.97, 95% CI = 1.02-3.78), and past history of gouty arthritis (OR =2.46, 95% CI = 1.27-4.79) were significantly associated with depression in women, but not in men.
Conclusion: Women have a higher prevalence of geriatric depression than men. Our data support the differential exposure hypothesis and the differential vulnerability hypothesis of sex difference in geriatric depression.
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