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Epidemiology and Health 2022;e2022012.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022012    [Accepted] Published online Jan 8, 2022.
Independent predictors of depressive symptoms and social isolation on two-year all-cause mortality among the elderly in a population-based cohort study: gender differences
Hyunsuk Jeong1  , Hyeon Woo Yim1  , Beom-Woo Nam2 
1The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
2Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Konkuk University, Chungju, Korea
Correspondence  Hyeon Woo Yim ,Email: y1693@catholic.ac.kr
Received: Aug 9, 2021  Accepted after revision: Jan 8, 2022
Abstract
Objectives:
We investigate whether depressive symptoms and social isolation are independent predictors of two-year all-cause mortality among the elderly using data from a population-based cohort.
Method:
A total of 1,033 participants (320 men and 713 women) older than 60 years of age participated in this study. Depressive symptoms, social isolation status, and sociodemographic and health-related covariates were assessed at baseline. The primary outcome measure was two-year all-cause mortality. Data were collected through in-person interviews by trained interviewers. The Genmod procedure was used to calculate relative risks (RRs).
Results:
Of the 1,033 participants, 102 (40 men and 62 women) died within a follow-up period of two years. During the two-year follow-up period, 17.8% of depressed men and 12.3% of depressed women died, and 29.8% of socially isolated men and 14.9% of socially isolated women died. Social isolation was an independent predictor of mortality in old men (adjusted relative risk (aRR): 4.6, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.0-10.2), while depressive symptoms were an independent predictor of mortality in old women (aRR: 2.0, 95% CI: 1.3-3.6) when controlling potential confounding factors. However, depressive symptoms detected by the geriatric depression scale (GDS) were not associated with mortality in men and social isolation was not associated with mortality in women.
Conclusions:
The effects of depressive symptoms and social isolation on two-year all-cause mortality in an elderly population differed according to gender. It is necessary to develop gender-specific community-based interventions to potentially reduce two-year all-cause mortality in the elderly.
Keywords: Depression; Social isolation; Mortality; Cohort; Elderly
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