Age is a risk factor for depression when we look at the entire lifespan. Does that hold true in a population of >60 years old?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Not my area of expertise, but two papers that might help you get started: - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2852580 - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3522513 $\endgroup$
    – Seanny123
    Jun 5 '17 at 2:19
  • $\begingroup$ It definitely grows. Some people may have high growth rates than others. It depends on genes. $\endgroup$
    – Sikku
    Jun 6 '17 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Sikku - try to avoid unreferenced one-liners as an answer. We expect elaborate, well-sourced answers. Although 'it depends' answers are perfectly viable, they do need to be backed up by an proper scientific argument. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Jun 6 '17 at 18:58

In addition to the articles that @Seanny provided in the comments, I think this study addresses your question pretty well. A couple of idiosyncrasies about the sample: from rural Germany, primary care attenders, 75 and over (Weyerer et al., 2008).

Results are somewhat mixed: univariate analysis shows a positive relationship between age and depression (accounting for sex), while adjusting for all possible confounding variables make the effect not statistically significant (though still positive).

What does this mean? Yes, there is a positive relationship between age and depression. However, the relationship may not be distinct from other aspects of old age (mobility impairment, visual impairment, etc.) that increase in prevalence as age increases.


Weyerer, S., Eifflaender-Gorfer, S., Köhler, L., Jessen, F., Maier, W., Fuchs, A., … Bickel, H. (2008). Prevalence and risk factors for depression in non-demented primary care attenders aged 75 years and older. Journal of Affective Disorders, 111(2–3), 153–163. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2008.02.008


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