Can depression and depressive symptoms predict mortality at 18-month follow-up in acutely medically ill inpatients over the age of 80 years?

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 1998 Apr;13(4):240-3. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1099-1166(199804)13:4<240::aid-gps762>;2-j.


Background: The prevalence of depression in acutely medically ill elderly inpatients is high. Depression in the elderly is associated with increased mortality.

Method: The association between mortality at 18-month follow-up and depression, depressive symptoms and demographic variables at the outset in a cohort of acutely medically ill elderly inpatients was examined.

Results: The mortality at 18-month follow-up was 47%. Depression, depressive symptoms and demographic variables were not associated with mortality.

Conclusion: An important explanation of this absence of association between mortality and depression may be an artifact due to patient selection designed to resemble normal clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Death
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Mortality*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric