Depressivity and mortality risk in a cohort of elderly men. A role of cognitive and vascular ill-health, and social participation

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Objectives: Depressive symptoms in the elderly have been shown to be associated with increased mortality. The purpose of this study was to examine symptoms of depression in octogenarian men and their association with all-cause mortality, and whether physical, cognitive and social factors influence this association. Methods: Out of the 703 initially included 55-years-old men, from the prospective cohort study “Men born in 1914”, we studied 163 survivors who could take a part in a survey at age 81, and followed them until their death. Results: Those men who had at least mild depressive symptoms, defined with Zung Self-rating Depression Scale, were found to have an increased mortality risk (HR = 1.52; CI =1.10–2.08; p = 0.01). This association persisted significantly after adjusting for: education, global cognition at age 81, cognitive abilities at age 68, vascular risk factors and comorbidities. Instead, it was attenuated after adjustments for Activities of Daily Life (ADL)–dependency and for a grade of Satisfaction with Participation in daily life. Conclusion: In octogenarian men with survival above the average, mild depressive symptoms predict all-cause mortality. Neither cognitive capacity nor vascular comorbidity explained this association, but lower Satisfaction with Participation in daily life, especially in combination with moderate ADL-dependency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1246-1253
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number8
Early online date2019 Apr 4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Geriatrics
  • Psychiatry


  • activities of daily living
  • Aged
  • depression
  • male
  • personal satisfaction
  • risk factors


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