From Our 2010 Archives

Older Adults Have Lower Rates of Mood, Anxiety Disorders

WEDNESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- A new report finds that older people have lower rates of mental illnesses related to mood and anxiety than younger people, but the conditions remain common, especially in women.

Researchers led by Amy L. Byers of the University of California at San Francisco analyzed a survey of 2,575 people aged 55 and older.

Five percent said they'd had a mood disorder -- such as depression or bipolar disorder -- within the past year. Twelve percent reported anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, and 3% said they had both mood and anxiety disorders.

The oldest people in the study, those aged 85 and older, were the least likely to report having the conditions.

In general, women had around double the rate of the disorders as men did.

"Given the rapid aging of the U.S. population, the potential public health burden of late-life mental health disorders will likely grow as well," the researchers wrote. They stressed the importance of "continued epidemiologic monitoring of the mental health status" of older Americans, from the youngest in that age group to the oldest.

The study appears online May 3 in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

-- Randy Dotinga

MedicalNewsCopyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: American Medical Association, press release, May 3, 2010




STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!