To the Editor: We read with great interest the study by Nakamura and colleagues that examined the relationship between depressive symptoms and activity of daily living (ADL) dependence in older people in a population‐based longitudinal study with 7 years of follow‐up. We congratulate them for sterling work showing the effect of depressive symptoms on 29% future risk of decline in ADL, compared to those without depression (adjusted risk ratio = 1.29, 95% confidence interval = 1.04–1.61). They also showed that individuals with depressive symptoms who lived with others or were married had triple the risk of being institutionalized as those living alone. These findings highlight a few points with implications for research and clinical practice.First, Nakamura and colleagues extend previous studies demonstrating the additive effect of depressive symptoms on social and work‐related impairments and functional decline in older people. Untreated depressive symptoms are often associated with poor quality of life, poor adherence to rehabilitation, social isolation, greater healthcare use, and poor physical functioning (which may be a surrogate for dependence on a spouse or caregiver). Untreated depressive symptoms are also precursors of major depression, lead to nursing home admission, and are associated with mortality. Thus, healthcare professionals and providers
Journal of American Geriatrics Society – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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