Frequency of symptoms of depression among the elderly in Mexico city

Sergio Sánchez-García, Teresa Juárez-Cedillo, Katia Gallegos-Carrillo, Joseph J. Gallo, Fernando A. Wagner, Carmen García-Peña

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Depression among the elderly is a topic of interest, due to its relationship with increased demand for health services, as well as the low frequency of diagnosis. Objective: To determine the frequency of depressive symptoms (DS) among elderly beneficiaries in Mexico City using the revised depression scale from the Center for Epidemiologic Studies of the United States (CES-DR) and the Yesavage Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Materials and methods: In the first phase of the study we evaluated the presence of significant DS using the 30-item GDS. Those with scores of 11 or more were considered positive and were included in the second phase. In this phase a random sample with negative scores was included. All participants in the second phase completed the revised CES-DR. The 80th percentile was used in this study, with a cut-off score of 57 points. Results: A total of 7,449 elderly were included in the first phase. The prevalence of reported significant DS with the GDS was 21.7% (n = 1.616) (95% CI, 20.4-23.0). The sample for the second phase included 2,923 elderly subjects. The mean age was 70.8 years, 61.7% were women. Twelve percent (95% CI, 9.2-15.3) showed significant DS corresponding to major depression, 7.5% (95% CI, 6.3-8.9) were categorized as probable cases, 17.2% (95% CI, 13.0-22.3) as possible cases, 2.6% (95% CI, 2.2-3.1) as sub-threshold depression episode, and 60.7% (95% CI, 56.2-65.1) had no significant DS episodes corresponding to major depression. Significant frequency of major depression DS, studied using the GDS and CES-DR, was 6.5% (95% CI, 3.3-12.4). Conclusions: Expression of the significant DS identified using the CES-DR is different from that reported with the GDS. The CES-DR is more sensitive and specific in identifying the presence of depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalSalud Mental
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • CES-D revised version
  • Depression
  • Elderly
  • Gds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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