Prevalence and correlates of depression in Chinese oldest-old

Kee Lee CHOU, Iris CHI

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96 Citations (Scopus)


Background   In Hong Kong, the aged population will be increased rapidly in the coming three decades and the oldest‐old (aged 80 and above) is the fastest growing age group. In this paper, we examined the prevalence rate and the correlates of depression for the oldest‐old.
Method   This article analyzes cross‐sectional data collected from a representative community sample of 1 903 Chinese elderly people aged 60 or above in Hong Kong. Respondents were interviewed in face‐to‐face format with structural questionnaire.
Result   Using 8 as the cut‐off point for the 15‐item Geriatric Depression Scale, we found that the prevalence rate was greater for the oldest‐old (31.1% ± 9.7%) than for the young‐old (aged between 60 and 69; 19.1% ± 2.8%) and the old‐old (aged 70 and 79; 22.4% ± 4.2%) groups. Logistic regression analyses revealed that financial strain, poor self‐rated health, loneliness, and heart disease were significantly and positively related to depression in the oldest‐old after gender, marital status, education, living arrangement, functional disability, sensory impairment, cognitive ability, and the presence of eight medical conditions were controlled. Interestingly, financial strain, self‐rated health, and loneliness were found to be significant correlates of depression in the young‐old and the old‐old groups, too.
Conclusion   Depression is a serious problem for the oldest‐old but a number of correlates are consistently identified in the oldest‐old, as well as the two other age groups in the elderly population. Therefore, aged care service practitioners must take these correlates into consideration in their prevention and treatment for depression for all different age groups in the aged. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-50
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005


Chou, K.-L., & Chi, I. (2005).Prevalence and correlates of depression in Chinese oldest-old. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20(1), 41-50. doi: 10.1002/gps.1246


  • Oldest-old
  • Depression
  • Chinese


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