Psychosocial and Biochemical Factors of age Changes in Depression in old age
J. Despot Lucanin1, D. Lucanin2
1University of Zagreb, Centre for Croatian Studies, Croatia
2University of Applied Health Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia
Symptoms of depression are among the most common problems in older persons, and may occur in relation to various risk factors, such as health conditions and psychosocial factors. The aim of this study was to determine the possible associations between psychosocial factors, biochemical factors and depression in old people, and age changes in these associations. Participants were 391 retirement homes’ residents in Zagreb, Croatia, 28% men, 72% women, aged 56-96 years (average 79) at baseline, ambulatory and not diagnosed with dementia. Variables were measured, at baseline and at 2 years follow-up: sociodemographic, depression, self-perceived health, functional ability, cognitive function, social participation, individually, by trained interviewers. Biochemical variables were measured from the vein blood sample, collected at baseline. Psychosocial factors were stronger predictors of age changes in depression than biochemical factors. These findings are interesting in terms of intervention and better identification of groups particularly susceptible to depression that has been shown prospectively to predict disability, morbidity and mortality in old age.