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Affective Disorders

Hegeman JM, Kok RM, van der Mast RC et al.

Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands.

 Br J Psychiatry 2012;200:275–81.

Editor’s note: Late-life depression is a common psychiatric disorder with a poor long-term prognosis, often a more chronic course, and a higher relapse rate compared with depression at younger ages. Depression in later life is linked to a greater likelihood of somatic comorbidity and a high risk of mortality. The phenomenology of late-life depression has been suggested to differ from that of depression in younger age groups but, until now, it has not been systematically investigated. The difference in phenomenologies may arise from overlap between depressive symptoms and those of somatic comorbidity, but sociocultural, biological, and psychological factors may also underlie the difference.

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