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Depression affects elderly people's lives more than physical illnesses

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7478.1307-c (Published 02 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1307
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

    Severe depression impairs elderly patients' lives more than serious medical illnesses, and treatment of depression “has the potential to improve patients' lives in spite of other medical comorbidities,” says a multicentre randomised controlled US study published in the Annals of Family Medicine (2004;2: 555-562).

    Depression is often viewed as resulting from medical illness, but it is also related to psychosocial factors, such as the death of a spouse, retirement, social isolation, and diminished income, says the study.

    Treating depression in primary care can improve patients' quality of …

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