The Association Between Past Sexual Abuse and Depression in Older Adults From Colombia

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Abstract

To explore the association between past sexual abuse and depression in elders living in Bogotá, Colombia, we used data from the SABE (Salud, Bienestar y Envejecimiento [Health, Well-being, and Aging]) Bogotá Study. Participants were 2000 community-dwelling adults aged 60 years and older in 2012. Sexual abuse was assessed by self-report. Depression was measured by the Geriatric Depression Scale. The weighted prevalence estimate was 2.6% for past sexual abuse and 23.4% for depression. Multivariate data analyses showed significantly higher odds of depression for past sexual abuse (odds ratio [OR] = 3.91, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.13-7.16). Other characteristics associated with depression were history of being displaced by violence (OR = 1.77, 95% CI: 1.30-2.40), low socioeconomic status, low education, poor self-rated health status, and poor self-rated memory. Thus, past sexual abuse and history of being displaced by violence were strongly associated with depression among Colombian elderly individuals.

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