Association between social support and depression in the elderly Japanese population

Yayoi Koizumi, Shuichi Awata, Toru Seki, Naoki Nakaya, Shinichi Kuriyama, Yoshinori Suzuki, Kaori Ohmori, Atsushi Hozawa, Satoru Ebihara, Hiroyuki Arai, Ichiro Tsuji

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15 Citations (Scopus)


To determine the association between social support and depression in elderly Japanese, we conducted a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment among residents aged 70 years or over. Out of 2,730 eligible subjects, 1,179 participated in the survey and 1,146 (480 men and 666 women) were analyzed. The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) was used to estimate depression status. The subjects were divided into two groups: depressive (GDS>11 or taking antidepressant drugs) and non-depressive (GDS<11). Various levels of social support were assessed by the following questions: Do you have someone (1) whom you can consult when you are in trouble ? (2) whom you can consult when your physical condition is not good ? (3) who can help you in daily housework ? (4) who can take you to a hospital when you don't feel well ? (5) who can take care of you when you are ill in bed? In multivariate logistic regression analysis, the calculated odds ratios (95% CIs) for the lack of each type of social support for depression status were: (1) 2.5 (1.5-4.1),(2) 1.9 (1.1-3.2),(3) 2.7 (1.7-4.4),(4) 1.9 (1.1-3.2),(5) 2.8 (1.6-4.9) in men, and (1) 1.2 (0.8-1.8),(2) 1.2 (0.8-1.8),(3) 1.4 (1.0-2.0),(4) 1.6 (1.1-2.3),(5) 2.0 (1.4-2.9) in women. A significant association was found between social support and depression in this elderly population. We also found that this association was stronger in men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-433
Number of pages8
JournalJapanese Journal of Geriatrics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jul


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