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Editor's Correspondence
April 22, 2002

Depressive Symptoms and Negative Outcomes in Older Hospitalized Patients

Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(8):948-949. doi:

Depressive symptoms have been increasingly reported to be associated with negative outcomes in hospitalized elderly persons, suggesting a negative effect on survival mainly in patients affected by chronic conditions.13

In this perspective, we read with interest the article by Büla et al4 on the relationship of depression with increased risk of mortality and rehospitalization in elderly patients. We would like to support the clinical validity of their data by presenting ours on a population of 687 elderly patients (aged >70 years [mean ± SD, 80.8 ± 5.9], 30% men) consecutively admitted to our Acute Care for the Elderly Medical Unit (ACE-MU) in 1999. One hundred forty-three patients admitted during the same period could not reliably report depressive symptoms due to disturbances of cognition or consciousness and were not included in the present study.

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