BACKGROUND: Few studies have examined the associations between mental and physical health conditions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The aim of this study was to evaluate comorbidity of depression and other chronic diseases in community-dwelling older adults.
METHODS: Data were obtained from the World Health Organization Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) implemented in 6 LMICs: China, Ghana, India, Mexico, the Russian Federation, and South Africa. A total of 33,508 participants age ≥50 were included in this analysis. Demographics, socioeconomic status, anthropometrics, depression, and chronic diseases status were collected using well-validated instruments in all countries. Multivariate analyses were used to examine the association between depression and comorbid conditions.
RESULTS: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (odds ratio: 1.39 [95% confidence interval: 1.15, 1.68]), arthritis (1.82 [1.52, 2.18]), asthma (3.20 [2.56, 4.00]), chronic lung disease (3.77 [3.08, 4.62]), angina (2.48 [2.01, 3.05]), and stroke (2.74 [2.18, 3.45]) were positively associated with depression prevalence (all P < .001).
CONCLUSIONS: Noting the strong association between depression and other chronic diseases in our sample of older adults from 6 LMICs, additional vigilance and screening through informal and formal health care systems would help to decrease the impact of comorbidity on the health and well-being of older populations.