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Inflammation and metabolic dysregulation are age-related physiological changes and are associated with depressive disorder. We tried to identify subgroups of depressed older patients based on their metabolic-inflammatory profile and examined the course of depression for these subgroups.
This clinical cohort study was conducted in a sample of 364 depressed older (⩾60 years) patients according to DSM-IV criteria. Severity of depressive symptoms was monitored every 6 months and a formal diagnostic interview repeated at 2-year follow-up. Latent class analyses based on baseline metabolic and inflammatory biomarkers were performed. Adjusted for confounders, we compared remission of depression at 2-year follow-up between the metabolic-inflammatory subgroups with logistic regression and the course of depression severity over 2-years by linear mixed models.
We identified a ‘healthy’ subgroup (n = 181, 49.7%) and five subgroups characterized by different profiles of metabolic-inflammatory dysregulation. Compared to the healthy subgroup, patients in the subgroup with mild ‘metabolic and inflammatory dysregulation’ (n = 137, 37.6%) had higher depressive symptom scores, a lower rate of improvement in the first year, and were less likely to be remitted after 2-years [OR 0.49 (95% CI 0.26–0.91)]. The four smaller subgroups characterized by a more specific immune-inflammatory dysregulation profile did not differ from the two main subgroups regarding the course of depression.
Nearly half of the patients with late-life depressions suffer from metabolic-inflammatory dysregulation, which is also associated with more severe depression and a worse prognosis. Future studies should examine whether these depressed older patients benefit from a metabolic-inflammatory targeted treatment.
Several authors claimed that expression of suicidal ideation is one of the most important predictors of completed suicide. However, the strength of the association between suicidal ideation and subsequent completed suicide has not been firmly established in different populations. Furthermore, the absolute suicide risk after expression of suicidal ideation is unknown. In this meta-analysis, we examined whether the expression of suicidal ideation predicted subsequent completed suicide in various populations, including both psychiatric and non-psychiatric populations.
A meta-analysis of cohort and case–control studies that assessed suicidal ideation as determinant for completed suicide in adults. Two independent reviewers screened 5726 articles for eligibility and extracted data of the 81 included studies. Pooled risk ratios were estimated in a random effects model stratified for different populations. Meta-regression analysis was used to determine suicide risk during the first year of follow-up.
The risk for completed suicide was clearly higher in people who had expressed suicidal ideation compared with people who had not, with substantial variation between the different populations: risk ratio ranging from 2.35 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43–3.87) in affective disorder populations to 8.00 (95% CI 5.46–11.7) in non-psychiatric populations. In contrast, the suicide risk after expression of suicidal ideation in the first year of follow-up was higher in psychiatric patients (risk 1.40%, 95% CI 0.74–2.64) than in non-psychiatric participants (risk 0.23%, 95% CI 0.10–0.54). Past suicide attempt-adjusted risk ratios were not pooled due to large underreporting.
Assessment of suicidal ideation is of priority in psychiatric patients. Expression of suicidal ideation in psychiatric patients should prompt secondary prevention strategies to reduce their substantial increased risk of suicide.
In older persons, a relationship between both higher and lower blood pressure and depression has inconsistently been reported. Blood pressure may be differentially associated with distinct symptom domains of depression. We examined the cross-sectional relation of current systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) with different depressive symptom domains among depressed older persons.
In the Netherlands Study of Depression in Older Persons (NESDO), 270 participants aged 60 years and above were diagnosed with depression in the past month. Using the three corresponding subscales of the Inventory of Depressive Symptoms-Self Report (IDS-SR), motivational, mood and somatic symptom domains were assessed. Additionally, symptoms of apathy were determined with the Apathy Scale. Multiple linear regression was used to examine the cross-sectional relationship between current SBP, DBP and MAP with both IDS-SR subscale and Apathy Scale scores. Unstandardized betas were calculated per 10 mmHg increase in blood pressure measures.
Mean age of participants was 70.4 years (standard deviation 7.3). Higher SBP (Beta 0.33, t (254) = 2.01, p = 0.045), higher DBP (Beta 0.68, t (254) = 2.15, p = 0.03) and higher MAP (Beta 0.63, t (254) = 2.33, p = 0.02) were associated with higher Apathy Scale scores in the fully adjusted model. Furthermore, a higher SBP was associated with higher IDS-SR mood subscale scores (Beta 0.25, t (254) = 2.13, p = 0.03).
Depressed older people with higher blood pressure measures had particularly more symptoms of apathy. To disentangle the relationship of blood pressure with late-life depression, it is important to pay attention to the role of apathy symptoms.
Late-life depression may differ from early-life depression in its phenomenology.
To investigate the effect of age on the phenomenology of major depression.
A systematic search was conducted in PubMed, Embase and PsycINFO for all studies examining the relation between age and phenomenology of major depression according to RDC, DSM and ICD criteria. Studies were included only if the age groups were compared at the single-item level using the 17-, 21- or 24-item versions of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression; a meta-analysis was done for each item of the 17-item scale.
Eleven papers met the inclusion criteria. Older depressed adults, compared with younger depressed adults, demonstrated more agitation, hypochondriasis and general as well as gastrointestinal somatic symptoms, but less guilt and loss of sexual interest.
The phenomenology of late-life depression differs only in part from that of early-life depression. Major depression in older people may have a more somatic presentation, whereas feelings of guilt and loss of sexual function may be more prevalent in younger people.
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