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One in 10 elderly people with minor or subsyndromal depression develops major depression within a year

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Q What are the outcomes for elderly people with minor or subsyndromal depression receiving usual care in primary practice?


Embedded ImageDesign:

Retrospective cohort study.

Embedded ImageSetting:

Ten primary care practices in greater New York City, and Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; time frame not stated.

Embedded ImagePopulation:

622 people aged 60 and over, and with a Mini-Mental State Examination score of 18 or higher. Of the 441 (70.9%) people who completed follow up, 114 (26%) did not have depression, 205 (46%) had minor or subsyndromal depression, and 122 (28%) had major depression at baseline. Diagnoses of depression were made with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID). Minor or subsyndromal depression was defined as depressed mood or anhedonia plus ⩾1 other SCID defined depressive symptom, at either threshold or subthreshold level. …

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  • For correspondence: Jeffrey M Lyness, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, 300 Crittenden Boulevard, Rochester, NY 14642, USA; Jeffrey_Lyness{at}

  • Sources of funding: National Institute of Mental Health, Forest Laboratories and the John D Hartford Foundation.