Physical comorbidity and consequences for mortality and treatment
Introduction Ageing is related to an increase rate of physical comorbidity. However, the interaction between physical comorbidity and the development of depression in the elderly is not yet clear. Depression may be the cause or consequence of physical morbidity. Both may increase mortality. Methods A total of 9604 patients with depression and a control sample of 96040 patients who attended a general hospital were followed-up for up to 12 years. Physical comorbidity and mortality was assessed. Results Twenty-nine physical disorders were more prevalent in subjects with depression, but the effect of individual disorders on mortality did not differ significantly in the depressed and control sample. Conclusions Patients with depression suffer more physical health problems than control patients that lead to death. The implications for early treatment will be discussed, a preventative approach may be most relevant.