Original Article: PDF OnlyEpidemiology of depression in the elderlyLépine, J. P.; Bouchez, S.Author Information Department of Psychiatry, Hôpital Fernand Widal, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris, 200 rue du Faubourg Saint Denis, F - 75475 Paris Cedex 10, France International Clinical Psychopharmacology: September 1998 - Volume 13 - Issue 5 - p S7-S12 Buy Abstract Epidemiologic results of studies of depression in the elderly are reviewed in this paper. There are discrepancies from one study to another as regards prevalence rates in the community. In fact, different methods of assessment as well as different periods frame may explain these variations. The use of diagnostic interviews commonly used in younger populations have been questioned in the elderly mostly due to cognitive problems. Other methods of assessment are briefly reviewed. In clinical settings most of the studies have assessed depressive symptoms. As regards risk factors female sex, widowhood or single life, stressful life events and poor social support have been found as risk factors for depression. The role of physical illness and handicap must also be taken into account. The magnitude of the increasing duration of life justify more epidemiological studies of depression to be conducted in the elderly population. © 1998 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.