Association of Somatic Disease with Affective Disorders in Middle and Old Age

  • Martin Roth


The relation between depression and somatic disease in elderly patients was first submitted to systematic investigation during the 1950s. Patients with depressive illness admitted to psychiatric hospital were found to have a high prevalence of somatic disease.1,2 This finding could have been due to the higher likelihood of admission in those depressed patients who also suffered from somatic disease. However, epidemiological study of a random community sample of people aged 65 years and over in the same area ruled out this explanation. The prevalence of physical disease among those with psychiatric disorders proved to be significantly greater than that found among mentally healthy controls from the same population.3,4


Affective Disorder Physical Illness Depressive Illness Physical Disease Somatic Disease 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1989

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  • Martin Roth

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