Older women more likely to have depression than men

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Depression affects up to one in four people but is often associated with young adults in the public consciousness.

In a new study from Simon Fraser University, researchers found though the likelihood of Canadians having depressive symptoms decrease into mid-life, rates of depression creep up once more as people—especially women—enter their 70s.

They looked at data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA)—a long-term study that follows more than 50,000 people between the ages of 45 and 85—and tracked the number of reported depressive symptoms across age.

They found that people’s association with depression was linked with late-life and that females were more likely to report depressive symptoms than males.

They found across the entire age span, 45 to 85, women reported greater depressive symptoms, but that separation between males and females is amplified the most in the 80s.

The team says there’s no single reason why depression rates increase in late life, but older adults are known to be more likely to experience bereavement, failing health, becoming caregivers and social isolation.

They hope to study the myriad of factors in their follow-up work, but for now, the team says the findings can help shape the way we support older adults.

Being aware that there is a likelihood that your older parent may be experiencing depressive systems as they get into their late 70s and 80s reinforces the importance of keeping older adults active mentally, physically, socially and perhaps spiritually as well.

The advice is to make sure they are maintaining the best social contacts possible and encouraging them to be as physically active as possible as well.

If you care about depression, please read studies about this depression drug could also protect against heart disease and results showing that this therapy can effectively treat pain, depression and anxiety.

For more information about depression and your health, please see recent studies about people with depression lack this stuff in the brain to fight chronic stress and findings of your walking speed may show your dementia and depression risks.

The study is published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. One author of the study is John R. Best.

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