Childhood abuse in late-life depression
SourceJournal of Affective Disorders, 147, 1-3, (2013), pp. 241-246
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Affective Disorders
SubjectNCEBP 9: Mental health
BACKGROUND: Little is known about the role of childhood abuse in late-life depression. The aim of the study is therefore to study whether childhood abuse is associated with late-life depression according to its onset, and which clinical characteristics play a role in this association. METHODS: Data were used from 378 depressed and 132 non-depressed persons, aged 60-93 years, from the Netherlands Study of Depression in Older persons (NESDO). Childhood abuse included psychological, physical and sexual abuse and emotional neglect. RESULTS: 53% of the depressed older adults reported childhood abuse, compared to 16% of the non-depressed older adults (p<0.001). Using logistic regression analyses adjusted for age, sex and level of education, depression was strongest associated with physical abuse (Odds Ratio ((OR) 13.71; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 3.25-57.91) and least with sexual abuse (OR 5.35; 95% CI 2.36-12.14). Childhood abuse was associated with early-onset (OR 13.73, 95% CI 7.31-25.80), middle age-onset (OR 5.36, 95% CI 2.90-9.90) and late-onset depression (OR 4.74, 95% CI 2.51-8.95). In the late-onset group childhood abuse was associated with an increased number of chronic diseases. LIMITATIONS: Age of depression onset and childhood abuse were asked retrospectively, which may have biased the results. CONCLUSIONS: Childhood abuse is strongly related to late-life depression and its comorbidities, even in the case of late-onset depression. This might suggest that psychological wellbeing can be maintained throughout middle age, but may be disturbed in later life.
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