Childhood adversities, late-life stressors and the onset of depressive symptoms in community-dwelling older adults

Yosuke Inoue, Andrew Stickley, Aki Yazawa, Jun Aida, Ai Koyanagi, Naoki Kondo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Depression is common in older individuals though many factors associated with its occurrence remain under-researched. We examined whether childhood adversities (CAs) and late-life stressors are associated with the onset of depressive symptoms in adults aged ≥ 65 and if these early- and late-life stressors interact in the prediction of depressive symptoms. Methods: Data came from the 2010 and 2013 waves of the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES) (N = 8701). The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15) was used to assess the presence of depressive symptoms (GDS ≥ 5). A Poisson regression analysis was used to examine associations. Results: Both CAs (1 event: incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.59, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.41–1.79; ≥ 2 events: IRR = 2.36, 95% CI = 1.80–3.10) and late-life stressful events (1 event: IRR = 1.13, 95% CI: 1.02–1.25; ≥ 2 events: IRR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.05–1.50) were significantly associated with the onset of depressive symptoms. Borderline significant interactions between CAs and late-life stressors (e.g. ≥ 2 CAs and ≥ 2 late-life events: IRR = 0.61, p = 0.087) suggest that late-life stressors may be important in predicting the onset of depressive symptoms especially among individuals with no or fewer CAs compared to those with ≥ 2 CAs. Conclusions: Stressful events in childhood and late adulthood were independently associated with the onset of depressive symptoms in older adults. In addition, stressful experiences in childhood might affect how individuals respond to stressful events in later life.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAging and Mental Health
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • adverse events (AE)
  • aging
  • Depression
  • epidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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