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Recurrence in Remitted Late-Life Depression

Depress Anxiety; ePub 2018 May 10; Deng, et al

Over half of the depressed elders who remitted late-life depression (LLD) experienced recurrence, mostly within 2 years, according to a recent study that examined what measures predict recurrence in remitted LLD. Individuals aged ≥60 years with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder were enrolled in the neurocognitive outcomes of depression in the elderly study. Participants received manualized antidepressant treatment and were followed longitudinally for an average of 5 years. Study analyses included participants who remitted. Researchers found:

  • Of 241 remitted elders, approximately >4 years, 137 (56.8%) experienced recurrence and 104 (43.2%) maintained remission.
  • In the final model, greater recurrence risk was associated with female sex, younger age of onset, higher perceived stress, disability, and less support with activities.
  • Recurrence risk was also associated with higher Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) scores prior to censoring and baseline symptoms of suicidal thoughts by MADRS and sadness by Center for Epidemiologic Studies‐Depression.
  • Sex, age of onset, and suicidal thoughts were no longer associated with recurrence in a model incorporating report of multiple prior episodes.
  • Neither neuropsychological test performance nor MRI measures of aging pathology were associated with recurrence.


Deng Y, McQuoid DR, Potter GG, et al. Predictors of recurrence in remitted late‐life depression. [Published online ahead of print May 10, 2018]. Depress Anxiety. doi:10.1002/da.22772.