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Sertraline improves depression scores in the elderly in the short term, regardless of medical comorbidity status

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Q What are the effects of sertraline in elderly people with depression, taking comorbid medical illnesses into consideration?


Embedded ImageDesign:

Randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:

Participants and assessors blinded.

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

Eight weeks with assessments at baseline and endpoint; the three primary outcome variables were also assessed every 2 weeks.

Embedded ImageSetting:

Multicentre trial in the USA; timeframe not specified.

Embedded ImagePatients:

752 people, age ⩾60 years (75% ⩾65) with major depressive disorder (MDD; DSM-IV criteria), and scoring ⩾18 on the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) with a score ⩾2 on item 1 (depressed mood), and a minimum of 4 weeks of symptoms. Exclusions: bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other psychosis; Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) score <24; DSM-IV diagnosis of dementia, organic mental disorder, or mental retardation; or a significant unstable medical condition.

Embedded ImageIntervention:

Sertraline 50–100 mg, flexible dose; placebo for 8 weeks. …

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