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Increasing age, minority ethnic origin, and lack of sufficient medical insurance decrease likelihood of treatment for depression in the elderly

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Q What is the prevalence of treated depression in the elderly and what socioeconomic factors affect their treatment?

METHODS

Embedded ImageDesign:

Prospective cohort study.

Embedded ImageSetting:

Medicare recipients, USA; 1992–98.

Embedded ImagePopulation:

20 966 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) participants aged 65 and over, living in the community. Exclusions: people enrolled in Medicare or MCBS for less than 1 year; people enrolled in Medicare risk health maintenance organisations.

Embedded ImageAssessment:

Medicare claims were reviewed annually to identify people receiving a diagnosis of depression (ICD-9). Claims information and participant interviews were used to determine what, if any, treatment was received within that year (regardless of funding source). Information regarding participants’ age, income, marital status, education, ethnicity, …

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