Older women more depressed than older men : study

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London, Feb 5 (UNI) Old aged women are more likely to suffer from depression and stay in that condition for longer time than older men, a study shows.

Researchers from the US conducted a study and found that women aged 70 or over are more susceptible to depression than men of the same age. They also battled more persistent depression.

Afer a six-year study, researchers found that sufferers tended to be less-well educated and had a greater number of serious medical conditions. It is thought biological factors, such as hormonal changes, may make older women more vulnerable.

They are also more likely to suffer the stress of caring for sick relatives or children, which could contribute to higher rates of depression.

''Late-life depression is a significant clinical and public health problem because it is common and costly and is associated with disability and other adverse outcomes, '' lead researcher Lisa Barry, of Yale University School of Medicine said.

She, however added that further research was needed to discover the reasons behind the gender difference and why the condition lasts for longer in women.

The study, reported in the Archives of General sychiatry, followed 754 elderly people in the United States. Every 18 months participants were screened for symptoms of depression such as lack of appetite, feeling sad or sleep problems, the Daily Telegraph reported.

At the outset, 17 per cent of the women were depressed, compared with five per cent of the men. Three years later, a quarter of the women were suffering from the condition, compared with one in 10 of the men.

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