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To estimate the risks of depressive symptoms for developing frailty, accounting for baseline robust or pre-frailty status.
An incident cohort study design.
Community dwellers aged 55 years and above from urban and rural areas in seven regions in Taiwan.
A total of 2,717 participants from the Healthy Aging Longitudinal Study in Taiwan (HALST) were included. Subjects with frailty at baseline were excluded. The average follow-up period was 5.9 years.
Depressive symptoms were measured by the 20-item Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale. Frailty was assessed using the Fried frailty measurement. Participants were stratified by baseline robust or pre-frailty status to reduce the confounding effects of the shared criteria between depressive symptoms and frailty. Overall and stratified survival analyses were conducted to assess risks of developing frailty as a result of baseline depressive symptoms.
One hundred individuals (3.7%) had depressive symptoms at baseline. Twenty-seven individuals (27.0%) with depressive symptoms developed frailty, whereas only 305 out of the 2,617 participants (11.7%) without depressive symptoms developed frailty during the follow-up period. After adjusting for covariates, depressive symptoms were associated with a 2.6-fold (95% CI 1.6, 4.2) increased hazard of incident frailty. The patterns of increased hazard were also observed when further stratified by baseline robust or pre-frailty status.
Depressive symptoms increased the risk of developing frailty among the older Asian population. The impact of late-life depressive symptoms on physical health was notable. These findings also replicated results from Western populations. Future policies on geriatric public health need to focus more on treatment and intervention against geriatric depressive symptoms to prevent incident frailty among older population.
Sedative–hypnotic medication use has been related to severe adverse events and risks. This study investigated the prevalence of and characteristics associated with the use of sedatives and hypnotics among community-dwelling elderly persons aged 65 years and over in Taiwan.
A representative sample of community-dwelling adults was recruited. Clinical and sociodemographic data were collected for assessing physical, mental, and cognitive functioning and disorders. Sedatives and hypnotics use was determined via both self-reporting and prescription records. Logistic regression modeling was used to evaluate associations between sedative–hypnotic use and demographic and health status.
Among the 3,978 participants aged 65 years and over, the rate of sedative–hypnotic use was 19.7% (n = 785). 4.5% (n = 35) of users reported sedative–hypnotic use without a doctor's prescription. Several sociodemographic characteristics were positively associated with sedative and hypnotic use, including older age, female gender, higher education level, married status, unemployment, and current alcohol consumption. Comorbid chronic and cardiovascular diseases, mental illness, depression, pain, and sleep problems also increased the likelihood of sedative–hypnotic use.
This study is one of the largest pioneer studies to date to survey sedatives–hypnotics use among community-dwelling elderly. One in five community-dwelling older adults reported sedative–hypnotic drugs use in Taiwan, and about 5% of sedative and/or hypnotics usage was without a doctor's prescription. Findings could be helpful for drug-use safety interventions to identify target geriatric patients who are in general at higher risk of downstream harm associated with sedative–hypnotic use in geriatric patients.
This study was conducted to estimate prevalence rates and risk factors for late-life depression in a large nationwide representative sample from Taiwan.
A total of 5,664, randomly sampled individuals aged ≥55 years were enrolled. Clinically, relevant depressive symptoms were classified using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D score ≥16), and major depression was confirmed using the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders. Individuals with clinically relevant depressive symptoms, who did not meet the strict diagnostic criteria for major depression, were considered to have minor depression. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify risk factors for major and minor depression, including socio-demographic characteristics, medical conditions, lifestyle behaviors, social support network, and life events.
The prevalence rates of minor and major depression were 3.7% and 1.5%, respectively. Major depression was associated with personal vulnerability factors, such as poor social support, cognitive impairment, comorbid pain conditions, and sleep disturbance. However, minor depression was more likely to be related to adverse life events, including increased burden on families, changes in health status, or relationship problem. Approximately, 20.0% of individuals with major depression received antidepressant treatment.
Late-life depression was less prevalent among community-dwelling older adults in Taiwan than among populations in other countries. Our findings may aid the early detection and treatment of late-life depression and provide a basis for future investigations.
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