Depression seriously threatens Chinese elderly. This study analysis the prevalence of depressive symptoms (DS) and its related factors among China’s aging population.
All participants were from the PINDEC project. Multi-stage clustered sampling was conducted. A total of 20,019 participants aged 60 or above completed the DS screening in 2016, and among them, 19,420 were taken into analysis. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis were performed to explore the related factors of DS.
Of the 19,420 adults, 9,444 were male (48.63%) and 9,976 were female (51.37%). The prevalence of DS was 15.94%. The risk factors of DS were: female gender (OR=1.198, 1.097-1.308), daily alcohol consumption (OR=1.480, 1.284-1.705), disturbed sleep (OR=1.864, 1.716-2.024), chronic diseases (OR=1.214, 1.181-1.249), greater age (OR=1.012, 1.077-1.018), impaired cognition (OR=2.567,2.202-2.993), poor ADL performance (OR=1.545, 1.380-1.729), and insufficient social communication (OR=1.241, 1.134-1.358). Protective factors of DS included: higher education level, greater BMI (OR=0.986, 0.975-0.997), living in urban areas (OR=0.677, 0.611-0.749), and leisure activities such as playing cards or mahjong (OR=0.816, 0.730-0.912). For the DS risk factors, multiplicative interaction was found between cognition and ADL performance, in addition to cognition and social communication.
Causality cannot be drawn from this cross-sectional survey. And the elderly who were looked after by nannies or living in nursing homes were not taken into analysis.
DS is prevalent among older adults in China. It is recommended that periodic screening for DS should be conducted for elderly individuals. Furthermore, it is suggested that the elderly adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent DS.

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