Treatment of Late-Life Depression | Studies of Antidepressant Treatment in Older Patients | Duration of Antidepressant Treatment
The combined prevalence of major depressive disorder and dysthymia
in late life is 5%–12% in epidemiological studies;
this rate is similar to the rate in the younger adult population.
However, the symptom pattern and frequency of specific depressive
subtypes appear to be different; older patients have more somatic
symptoms, and both the melancholic and the delusional subtypes of
depression increase in frequency in older populations. In addition, some
degree of cognitive impairment, whether manifest only concurrently
with the depressive episode or as a function of age, is common.