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Depressin: Common Source of Health Issues in Seniors

Depressin: Common Source of Health Issues in Seniors

(ePharmaNews) – Depression in elders is not restrained to psychological effects, as it causes physical illnesses too, a new study says.

The study, which was published in PLoS One, was done by a team of researchers at Cambridge University; they reviewed records of Netherland hospitals between 1995 and 2006 and compared them with a cohort of general population. The researchers looked at the prevalence of depression among the two groups, the times of hospitalizations and the mortality rate.

The results showed that 14% of depressed were hospitalized due to no psychological illnesses compared to only 10% on healthy peers, and the mortality rate among the former was two times more compared to the latter, and the same applies for the length of hospitalization.

Knowing that half of hospitalized patients are above 65 year-old, researchers are keen to reveal any methods that help limiting these unnecessary costs, and such finding can help prevent thousands of admission to hospitals each year.

It is noteworthy that the effect of depression on admission rates is not related to the fact that ill people are more prone to depression, as the scientists mentioned in the research that even after adjusting for other diseases, depression is still considered an independent factor in hospitalization rates.

"Depression in middle and old age is associated with non-psychiatric hospitalisation, longer length of stay and higher mortality in clinical settings. Targeting of this high-risk group could reduce the financial, medical and social burden related to hospital admission." Says Dr. Matthew Prina, Department of Public Health & Primary Care, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, U.K.

"Further evidence to support the previous claim is certainly needed as although it is known that screening paired with an organised system of depression care can improve depression outcomes, it is not clear whether physical outcomes could also be improved." He adds

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Prepared by: Houssam Nahhas

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