Iatrogenic depression in the elderly. Results from a community-based study in the Netherlands

Ton D. Dhondt, Aaartjan T.F. Beekman, Dorly J.H. Deeg, Wilhem van Tilburg

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Background. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the use of medication and depression in the elderly. Method. A cross-sectional population-based study was conducted. Associations between the use of medication and depression are corrected for eight other etiological correlates of depression. The sample consisted of 2646 elderly people living in 11 municipalities in the Netherlands. Subjects were taken from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam, a 10-year longitudinal study on predictors and consequences of changes in well-being and autonomy in the older population. Associations are expressed in odds ratios (95% Confidence Intervals) between the use of (groups of) medication and depression. Results are adjusted for age, sex, urbanicity, socioeconomic status, physical health, social and interpersonal support, comorbidity with other psychiatric disease and personality. The Population Attributable Risk percentage wag calculated for selected groups of medication. Results. After correction for competing risk factors of depression, 22 individual medications and nine groups of medications had unique associations with depression. Conclusions. The use of depressogenic medication is an independent etiological factor in the pathogenesis of depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-398
Number of pages6
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Depression
  • Drugs
  • Effects
  • Elderly
  • Etiological factors
  • Side

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