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Reducing the feeling of loneliness in the elderly can prevent future depressive symptoms

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November 20, 2020

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Lee has not reported disclosure of relevant financial information. See the survey for relevant financial disclosures of all other authors.

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According to the results of a population-based cohort study published in, older people with higher levels of loneliness were at increased risk of more severe depressive symptoms. Lancet psychiatry.

“Many studies have examined the relationship between loneliness and depression in the elderly, but these studies have limitations.” Siu Long Lee, MSc, A colleague in the Department of Psychiatry at University College London wrote. “There have been some cross-cutting studies, but cross-cutting design studies cannot rule out inverse causality. A longitudinal study to see if loneliness precedes the symptoms of depression. Is essential. This is a necessary condition to identify loneliness as a potential cause and therefore a risk factor for depression that can be targeted. “

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Lee et al. Analyzed a wave of seven adult data collected biennially between 2004 and 2017 to see if loneliness is associated with more serious symptoms of subsequent depression. I tried to judge. 50 years and over Those who were included in the English longitudinal study of aging. Baseline loneliness measured by a short revision of the UCLA Solitude Scale in 1980 served as an exposure. Depression severity measured at six subsequent time points through an eight-item version of the Epidemiological Research Center Depression Scale (CES-D) served as the primary result. Researchers used linear multi-level regression in their analysis to adjust back and forth for social isolation, social support, polygene risk scores, and other socio-demographic and health-related confounders. Diagnosis of depression measured using the binary version of CES-D.

Full exposure, results, and confounding factor data were available for 4,211 eligible participants. The results showed a 1 point increase in loneliness score associated with an increase in all adjusted depressive symptom severity scores of 0.16 (95% CI, 0.13-0.19). Researchers estimated that the proportion of loneliness-related depression due to the population was 18% (95% CI, 12-24) at the one-year follow-up and 11% at the final follow-up. Lee et al. Suggested that if loneliness were resolved, 11% to 18% of cases of depression could have been prevented. In addition, after 12 years of follow-up, an association between loneliness and depressive symptoms remained. However, the effect size decreased with longer follow-up periods.

“However Efforts for loneliness It will be a complicated task in effect. It has important potential to reduce or prevent future depressive symptoms in the elderly, “Lee and colleagues write.

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