Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Penninx BWJH, Guralnik JM, Ferrucci L, Simonsick EM, Deeg DJH, Wallace RB. Depressive Symptoms and Physical Decline in Community-Dwelling Older Persons. JAMA. 1998;279(21):1720–1726. doi:10.1001/jama.279.21.1720
From the Epidemiology, Demography, and Biometry Program, National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, Md (Drs Penninx, Guralnik, and Simonsick); INRCA Geriatric Department, Florence, Italy (Dr Ferrucci); Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine and Department of Psychiatry, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Dr Deeg); and Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City (Dr Wallace).
Context.— Significant symptoms of depression are common in the older community-dwelling
population. Although depressive symptoms and disability may commonly occur
in the same person, whether depressive symptoms contribute to subsequent functional
decline has not been elucidated.
Objective.— To determine whether depressive symptoms in older persons increase the
risk of subsequent decline in physical function as measured by objective performance-based
Design.— A 4-year prospective cohort study.
Setting.— The communities of Iowa and Washington counties, Iowa.
Participants.— A total of 1286 persons aged 71 years and older who completed a short
battery of physical performance tests in 1988 and again 4 years later.
Main Outcome Measures.— Baseline depressive symptoms were assessed by the Center for Epidemiological
Studies Depression Scale. Physical performance tests included an assessment
of standing balance, a timed 2.4-m (8-ft) walk, and a timed test of 5 repetitions
of rising from a chair and sitting down.
Results.— After adjustment for baseline performance score, health status, and
sociodemographic factors, increasing levels of depressive symptoms were predictive
of greater decline in physical performance over 4 years (odds ratio for decline
in those with depressed mood vs those without, 1.55; 95% confidence interval
[CI], 1.02-2.34). Even among those at the high end of the functional spectrum,
who reported no disability, the severity of depressive symptoms predicted
subsequent decline in physical performance (odds ratio for decline, 1.03;
95% CI, 1.00-1.08).
Conclusions.— This study provides evidence that older persons who report depressive
symptoms are at higher risk of subsequent physical decline. These results
suggest that prevention or reduction of depressed mood could play a role in
reducing functional decline in older persons.
Create a personal account or sign in to: