RESEARCH PAPER
Assessment of the prevalence of depressive symptoms in a population of people aged over 65
 
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Wydział Nauk o Zdrowiu ATH w Bielsku-Białej
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Zakład Żywienia Człowieka, Instytut Zdrowia Publicznego, Wydział Nauk o Zdrowiu, Uniwersytet Jagielloński Collegium Medicum
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Beata Babiarczyk   

Wydział Nauk o Zdrowiu, ATH w Bielsku- -Białej, ul. Willowa 2, 43-309 Bielsko-Biała
 
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2013;19(4):453–457
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ABSTRACT
The progress of medicine in the fields of treatment and prevention of diseases has brought about a significantly increased population of elderly people. Epidemiological studies points out an increased incidence of late-life depression. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of depressive symptoms in the elderly population. The study was carried out between 2008–2010, in one medical and four care institutions in Bielsko-Biała district. The study involved people who were at least 65 years of age. It was based on a questionnaire, regarding the functional capacity and health status, and a standardized research tool (Geriatric Depression Scale – GDS). Anthropometric measurements were also carried out in each case. The study involved 202 elderly people. The great majority of the study population were women and the mean age was 77.6±7.4 years. Almost all respondents denied drinking alcohol (88%) and smoking (94.1%). The average number of diseases in subjects was 3.2±1.6. Mean values for the GDS test for the entire population were 11.7±6.5 points. No depressive mood was observed in 45.6% of respondents, minor depression in 43.6%, and severe depression in 10.9%. Gender determined the GDS results. Analyzing BMI (Body Mass Index) ranges, it was found that only one quarter of respondents had a BMI in the normal range, the great majority exceeded this standard to varying degrees. A statistically significant positive correlation with the GDS results was shown for gender, marital status and the number of diseases. Depression is not a natural part of the aging process. Screening assessment of depressive symptoms should always be a part of global geriatric assessment. Key words elderly, depression, GDS, morbidity
 
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