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March 1992

An Estimate of the Incidence of Depression in Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology (Drs Dooneief, Mirabello, Bell, Marder, Stern, and Mayeux) and Psychiatry (Drs Stern and Mayeux), College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY.

Arch Neurol. 1992;49(3):305-307. doi:10.1001/archneur.1992.00530270125028

• Estimates of the prevalence of depression in idiopathic Parkinson's disease vary, but have been greater than in most comparison groups. In a survey of patients with Parkinson's disease (N = 339), the prevalence of depression was 47%. A total of 326 cases were reviewed to estimate the incidence of depression from September 30, 1984, to July 31,1989. Assessments of depression during both the prevalent and the incident periods were noted in 258 cases. There was no history of depression in 129 cases, and nine new cases occurred. The incidence rate was 1.86% per year and the cumulative risk was 8.6%. Published estimates of the incidence of depression in the general population are few. In one study, the annual incidence of depression in individuals older than 40 years was 0.17%. In another, the incidence of depression in individuals older than 50 years was 0.14% for men and 0.29% for women. Although our retrospective study probably underdiagnoses depression, the incidence of depression is increased in Parkinson's disease.

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