Characteristics and factors associated with depression in the elderly in Spain from a gender perspective


  • Juan M. Sendra-Gutiérrez Grupo de Investigación en Neurociencia Clínica de Segovia (GINCS). Segovia, Spain
  • Inmaculada Asensio-Moreno Grupo de Investigación en Neurociencia Clínica de Segovia (GINCS). Segovia, Spain; Department of Psychiatry. Gómez Ulla Central Defense Hospital-Public Health Agency and Ministry of Defense. Madrid, Spain
  • Martín L. Vargas-Aragón Grupo de Investigación en Neurociencia Clínica de Segovia (GINCS). Segovia, Spain; Department of Psychiatry. Segovia Hospital-Public Health Agency. SACYL. Segovia, Spain


Depressive disorder, Elderly, Gender role, Health surveys, Epidemiologic studies, Multivariate analysis


Introduction. Depression is a main cause of disability and it is a priority public health problem among the elderly because of its significant consequences regarding morbidity and mortality, especially in women.

Methods. We selected records of people aged 65 and over out of the 2014 European Health Survey in Spain (n=6,520). We then performed a descriptive analysis stratified by gender of relevant variables such as demographic, socioeconomic, health status, health care and health determinants. We studied its connection with the presence of depressive disorders diagnosed by the PHQ-8 questionnaire. In a second phase we adjusted logistic regression models in order to assess depressive disorders based on the significant variables.

Results. 12.6% of depressive disorders are detected (16.8% women; 7.1% men). Many of the variables are related to depressive disorders in bivariate analysis; however, only a regular or bad/very bad perceived state of health (ORm=6.7; ORw=3.8); bedrest; the difficulty or inability to walk; and severe (ORm=3.5, ORw=2) and extreme pain (ORm=5; ORw=3.9) remain after multivariate adjustment in both sexes. Differentially depression in women is connected with not being able to read or write, the presence of chronic disease, and lack of interest from others; and in men a moderate degree of pain.

Conclusions. The greater frequency and vulnerability of depression in elderly women may be connected to their educational level, their suffering from chronic diseases and social support. Longitudinal studies need to be undertaken to confirm the role and influence of these factors.



How to Cite

Sendra-Gutiérrez, Juan M., et al. “Characteristics and Factors Associated With Depression in the Elderly in Spain from a Gender Perspective”. Actas Españolas De Psiquiatría, vol. 45, no. 5, Sept. 2017, pp. 185-00,