Cooccurrence and bidirectional prediction of sleep disturbances and depression in older adults: Meta-analysis and systematic review

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2017 Apr;75:257-273. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.01.032. Epub 2017 Feb 6.


The present study pooled the prevalence of sleep disturbances and depression in community-dwelling older adults (mean age≥60years) and quantified the strength of evidence of the relationship between these two problems. From 23 cross-sectional studies and five sets of baseline data, a high pooled prevalence of sleep disturbances (30.5%), depressive symptoms (18.1%) and coexisting disorders (10.6%) were found. In the 23 cohort studies, self-reported sleep disturbances increased the risk of the onset of depression (relative risk [RR]=1.92). Persistent sleep disturbances increased the risk of the development (RR=3.90), recurrence (RR=7.70), and worsening (RR=1.46) of depression in older adults. Little support was found for a predictive role for objective sleep characteristics in the development of depression. Older adults with depression had a higher risk of developing (RR=1.72) and worsening (RR=1.73) symptoms of sleep disturbances. This review emphasizes the importance of timely interventions in incipient sleep disturbances and depression among older adults, preventing the development of more serious comorbidities.

Keywords: Bidirectional prediction; Cooccurrence; Depression; Older adults; Sleep disturbances.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Sleep Wake Disorders*