Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Broken Down by Age

Epidemiologists are defined as health scientists broken down by age and sex.

As BrooklynDodger gets on in years, the Dodger starts to look at health effects in the elderly, beyond those of alcohol. This paper frustrated the Dodger, since it never gave the base rate of depression, on a bunch of coefficients. Living in a poor neighborhood increased the risk of depressive symptoms, more elderly people in the neighborhood reduced the risk. Amenities had no effect.

The paper quoted a range of 10 to 27% of free living elderly with depressive symptoms.


American Journal of Epidemiology 2005 162(3):253-260;

Neighborhood Contextual Influences on Depressive Symptoms in the Elderly
Laura D. Kubzansky, S. V. Subramanian, Ichiro Kawachi, Martha E. Fay, Mah-J. Soobader and Lisa F. Berkman
From the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Reprint requests to Dr. L. Kubzansky, Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-6096 (e-mail: lkubzans@hsph.harvard.edu (image placeholder)).

… This study used … data from the New Haven component of the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly, a community-based sample of noninstitutionalized men and women aged 65 years or older and living in the city of New Haven, Connecticut, in 1982. Neighborhoods were characterized by census-based characteristics and also by measures of the neighborhood service environment using data abstracted from the New Haven telephone book Yellow Pages. Living in a poor neighborhood was associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms in older adults, above and beyond individual vulnerabilities. In addition, the presence of more elderly people in the neighborhood was associated with better mental health among older adults. The authors found no evidence that access to services hypothesized to promote social engagement, to provide health services, or to affect the reputation of a neighborhood explained (i.e., mediated) neighborhood variations in depressive symptoms

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