Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Not so blue? Study suggests many Americans less depressed

Date:
July 10, 2013
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Depression down among adults over 50, including elderly age 80-84; signs of increased depression in slice of late middle age population

Fewer Americans may be feeling the blues, with rates of depression in people over 50 on the decline, according to a new University of Michigan Health System study.

Related Articles


Between 1998 and 2008, rates of severe depression fell among the majority of older adults, especially the elderly, who have historically been a higher risk group for depression, new findings show. Meanwhile, late middle agers between ages 55-59 appeared to experience increased depression over the 10 year period.

The nationally representative study appears in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

"Over that decade, we saw a significant decrease in depression among older adults, and we need further studies to explore whether this is the result of improved treatment," says lead author Kara Zivin, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry in the U-M Medical School and research investigator at the VA Center for Clinical Management Research. "Even with signs of progress, however, a significant percent of our population is still experiencing severe symptoms of depression, and we need to do more to ensure all of these groups have proper access to treatment."

Late-life depression has been a major area of concern among health providers, with studies showing increased depression at a time when many face death of loved ones, isolation, medical problems or changes in economic status. The new study, however, suggests improvements in this trend, with the most pronounced drop in depressive symptoms in people in the 80-84 age group.

Increases in depression rates were concentrated among people in late middle age between ages 55-59 -- a group that hasn't traditionally been focused on as an at-risk group.

"It's unclear whether this shift is an indication of a sicker population not being treated adequately, a burden on people of that age at that particular time or something else, which is why we need to do more research to better understand these patterns," Zivin says.

Researchers used data from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally-representative sample of older Americans that is conducted by the U-M Institute for Social Research on behalf of the National Institute of Aging.

"We were pleased to see that there appears to be an overall improvement in depressive symptoms in the US, which is most likely related to better recognition and treatment. We are hopeful that our findings highlight the importance of depression diagnosis and treatment, and that we continue to make progress in developing better ways to systematically improve the outcomes of patients with depression," says senior author Sandeep Vijan, M.D., M.S., associate professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School and a research scientist at the VA Ann Arbor Health Care System.

Zivin is a member of the U-M Depression Center and the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. Vijan is a member of the latter as well.

Additional authors: Paul A. Pirraglia, M.D.; Ryan J. McCammon, A.B.; Kenneth M. Langa, M.D., Ph.D.

Funding: National Institute on Aging (P01 AG031098 and U01 AG09740) and the Department of Veteran Affairs, Health Services and Development (CD2 07-206-1 and VA IIR 10-176-3).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kara Zivin, Paul A. Pirraglia, Ryan J. McCammon, Kenneth M. Langa, Sandeep Vijan. Trends in Depressive Symptom Burden Among Older Adults in the United States from 1998 to 2008. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s11606-013-2533-y

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Not so blue? Study suggests many Americans less depressed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130710142042.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2013, July 10). Not so blue? Study suggests many Americans less depressed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130710142042.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Not so blue? Study suggests many Americans less depressed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130710142042.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2015) Each week, millions of Americans take acetaminophen to dull minor aches and pains. Now researchers say it might blunt life&apos;s highs and lows, too. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins