The relationship of depression to medical illness in an older community population

J. David Kinzie, Peter Lewinsohn, Robert Maricle, Linda Teri

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26 Scopus citations


This report is on medically associated depression in a depressed sample of middle-aged and older community subjects. The 50 subjects represent 14 men and 36 women who met RCD criteria for depression (major, minor, and intermittent). Depression tended to be recurrent and to be quite lengthy. Thirty-eight were taking at least one medication, 19 of which could have been depressogenic. Forty-four had at least one medical diagnosis or problem determined by the history or the laboratory data. It was determined that depression was associated with a medical illness in 22, with a medication in four, and with both an illness and medication in seven. Thus, out of the 50, 52% were having depressions definitely or probably associated with a medical illness or medicine. Medical illness and medication use are commonly present in the elderly population, are often unrecognized, and can contribute to depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-246
Number of pages6
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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