Older women appear more susceptible to depression and more likely to stay depressed but less likely to die while depressed than older men, factors that contribute to the higher burden of depression among older women.
Major depression affects approximately 1 percent to 2 percent of older adults living in the community, but as many as 20 percent experience symptoms of depression, according to background information in the article. These symptoms are more likely to affect older women than older men for reasons that are unclear.
The findings were consistent over the four time intervals, providing strong evidence that depression is more persistent in older women than older men, the authors note. This is surprising, because women are more likely to receive medications or other treatment for depression