We thank Dr Rozzini and colleagues for their letter that provides additional evidence emphasizing the relationship between depressive symptoms and health care utilization as well as medical prognosis in hospitalized elderly persons. The consistency of their results with ours and others' findings1,2 confirms the important role of depressive symptoms in predicting adverse health outcomes. As they suggest, these results lend additional support to systematically screening these hospitalized elderly persons, and treating those found to be depressed.
Büla CJ, Wietlisbach V, Burnand B, Yersin B. Depressive Symptoms and Negative Outcomes in Older Hospitalized Patients—Reply. Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(8):949. doi: