Home Health One in eight older adults experienced depression for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic

One in eight older adults experienced depression for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic

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A new large study of more than 20,000 older adults in Canada found that about 1 in 8 older adults developed depression for the first time during the pandemic.

For those who had previously experienced depression, the numbers were even worse. By the fall of 2020, nearly half (45%) of this group reported depression.

Posted in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Healththis study analyzed responses from a Canadian longitudinal study on aging that collected data from participants for an average of 7 years.

“The high rate of first-onset depression in 2020 highlights the substantial mental health toll the pandemic has caused on previously mentally healthy groups. senior citizenLead author Andie MacNeil is a recent Master of Social Work graduate from the Factor Inwentash School of Social Work (FIFSW) and the Institute of Life Courses and Aging at the University of Toronto.

Although it is well known that the prevalence of depression among older adults has surged during the pandemic, previous studies have not shown the proportion of people experiencing depression for the first time or those with a history of the disorder who have experienced relapses. Few specified the percentage of people. .

“The devastation of the pandemic, which has upended so many aspects of daily life, has hit people with a history of depression particularly hard,” says co-author Sapriya Burke. medical student at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. “Medical professionals need to pay attention to patient screening. mental health issues early in their life. ”

Researchers have identified several factors associated with depression in older adults during the pandemic.This includes inadequate income and savings, loneliness, chronic pain, problems accessing healthcare, a history of adverse childhood experiences, and family conflict.

Older people who knew their income was not enough to meet their needs before the pandemic basic needspeople with lower savings were more likely to develop depression during the pandemic.

“These findings highlight the disproportionate mental health burden borne by individuals of lower socioeconomic status during the pandemic. For us, it may have been exacerbated by the economic instability of the pandemic,” the co-authors said. Margaret DeGraw, Science Manager, Public Health Canada, said:

Individuals who experienced different aspects of loneliness, including feelings of alienation, isolation, and lack of companionship, had approximately four to five times higher risk of both onset and relapse of depression.

“It is not surprising that lockdowns have been particularly difficult for older adults who have been isolated and lonely during the pandemic. social support Essential for health and mental health. People who are isolated need better support and outreach,” said co-author Yin Zhang, a senior epidemiologist at Public Health Canada.

senior citizen chronic pain And those who had difficulty accessing their usual healthcare, medication, or treatment were more likely to become depressed in the fall of 2020.

“The findings underscore the importance of streamlining service delivery to reduce disruption to health services during future pandemics,” said co-author, Department of Neuroscience, Carleton University. Professor Paul J. Villeneuve of

People who experienced adversity in childhood were more likely to be depressed in the fall of 2020. Older adults who experienced family conflict during the pandemic had more than three times the risk of depression compared to their peers who did not.

“Family conflict is a major stressor that affects mental health even in the best of times. It was a huge risk for depression,” said senior author Esme Fuller-Thomson, professor at FIFSW at the University of Toronto and director of the Institute for Life Courses and Aging.

This research International Journal of Environmental Research and Public HealthThis study included 22,622 participants from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) in the baseline wave (2011-2015), follow-up 1 wave (2015-2018), and during the pandemic (2020). provided data from September to December 2009).Impact of pandemic Because vulnerable populations were underrepresented in CLSA, it is even possible that the impact on depression in older Canadians is greater than observed.

“We hope our findings will help health and social work professionals improve targeted screening and outreach to identify and serve the most at-risk older adults. hoping. depressionsaid Andy MacNeil.

For more information:
Andie MacNeil et al, Incident and recurrent depression in adults over age 50 during the COVID-19 pandemic: A longitudinal analysis of a Canadian longitudinal study on aging, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2022). DOI: 10.3390/ijerph192215032

Quote: 1 in 8 older adults experienced depression for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic (24 November 2022). -covid-.html

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