The relationship among depressive symptoms and chronic diseases in the elderly

노인의 우울증세와 만성질환과의 관련성

  • Lim, Ji-Hye (Dept. of healthcare management, Youngsan University)
  • 임지혜 (영산대학교 의료경영학과)
  • Received : 2014.04.01
  • Accepted : 2014.06.20
  • Published : 2014.06.28


This study aims to identify depressive symptoms status and factors to affect depressive symptoms in the elderly. The research selected 1,429 adults aged over 65, who appeared with depressive symptoms, from the fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2012. We analyzed states of depressive symptoms using descriptive statistics. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the main factors associated with depressive symptoms in the elderly. The result shows that depressive symptoms in the elderly is significantly associated with gender, age, income level, subjective health status, smoking and the number of chronic diseases. Females, higher age, lower income, lower subjective health status, smoking and the higher the number of chronic diseases were the significant factors of higher depressive symptoms. Therefore, it is necessary to develop effective social programs and individualized approach to improve the quality of life in the elderly. In the future, these findings can be used as important data for health care policy and assessment.


Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey;depressive symptom;elderly;chronic diseases;subjective health status


  1. Korea National Statistical Office, 2008 Elderly statistics, pp. 1-25, 2008.
  2. Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, National Elderly Survey, Ministry of Health & Welfare, 2011.
  3. Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, National Elderly Survey, Ministry of Health & Welfare, 2008.
  4. Jung-Eun Go, Sun-Hae Lee, A multilevel modeling of factors affecting depression among older korean adults, The Korean Academy of Mental Health Social Work, Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 322-351, 2011.
  5. Jun-Soo Hur, Soo-Hyun Yoo, Determinants of Depression among Elderly Persons, The Korean Academy of Mental Health Social Work, Vol. 13, pp. 7-35, 2002.
  6. Yeon-Og Yeo, Eun-Kwang Yoo, The relationship among depression, self-esteem and ADL in the case of the hospitalized elderly patients with chronic disease, Journal Korean Academy Adult Nurse, Vol. 22, No. 6, pp. 676-686, 2010.
  7. Mee-Sook Lee, Chronic Diseases, Depressive Symptoms and the Effects of Social Networks in Korean Elderly Population, Korean Association of Health And Medical Sociology, Vol. 27, pp. 5-30, 2010.
  8. In-Jeong Lee, Sex Differences in the Effects of Psychosocial Factors on Depression and Life satisfaction of Older Persons, International Journal of Welfare for the Aged, Vol. 36, pp. 159-180, 2007.
  9. Karton, W. and Giechanowski, P, Impact of major depression on chronic medical illness, Journal of Psychomatic Research, Vol. 53, pp. 859-863, 2002.
  10. Karton, W. and Sullivan, M, Depression and chronic medical illness, Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 51, No. 6, pp. 3-11, 1990.
  12. Ji-Mee Kim, Jung-Ae Lee, Depression and Health status in the elderly, Journal of the Korean Gerontological Society, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 1311-1327, 2010.
  13. V. Lorant, D. Delige, W. Eaton, A. Robert, P. Philippot, and M. Ansseau, Socioeconomic inequalities in depression, American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 157, pp. 98-112, 2003.
  14. Su-Ae Lee, Gyung-Mee Lee, A study on the major factors influencing the depression among the elderly in rural area, Journal of the Korean Gerontological Society, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 209-226, 2002.
  15. G. J. Kennedy, H. R. Kelman, and C. Thomas, The emergence of depressive symptoms in late Life: The importance of declining health and increasing disability, Journal of Community Health, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 93-104, 1990.
  16. R. E. Roberts, S. J. Shema, G. A. Kaplan, and W. J. Strawbridge, Sleep complaints and depression in an aging cohort: A prospective perspective, American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 157, No. 1, pp. 81-88, 2000.
  17. L. Stallones, M. B. Marx, and T. F. Garrity, Prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms among older U. S. adults, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 6, No. 5, pp. 295-303, 1990.
  18. H. S. Jeon, R. Dunkle, and B. L. Roberts, Worries of oldest-old, Health & Social Work, Vol. 31, No. 4, pp. 256-265, 2006.
  19. Seung-Duk Ko, Ae-Rees Son, Yun-Shin Choi, A Study on the relationship og the geriatric depression to the elderly's general characteristics, Korean Journal of Family Welfare, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 3-15, 2001.
  20. Hong-lan Seo, Yun-Kyung Jung, Hee-nyon Kim, The effects of physical diseases on elderly depression and moderate effects of the self-care performance, Journal of Welfare of the Aged, Vol. 61, pp. 57-84, 2013.
  21. P. Cuijpers, Mortality and depressive symptoms in inhabitants of residential homes, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Vol. 16, Issue 2, pp. 131-138, 2001.<131::AID-GPS283>3.0.CO;2-W
  22. G. M. Williamson, and R. Schulz, Physical illness and symptoms of depression among elderly outpatients, Psychology and Aging, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 343-351, 1992.

Cited by

  1. Powerlessness, Self-Esteem and Depression on Korean-American Immigrant Elderly vol.15, pp.11, 2014,