The Association Between Symptomatic and Diagnostic Depression and Pain Among the Elderly Population in South Korea

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The exact nature of pain (amount or severity) associated with in depression in the elderly population has not been studied extensively yet. We investigated the association between the characteristics of pain and both symptomatic and diagnostic depression using data from the 2012 Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (2164 men, 2066 women). Symptomatic depression was identified a score of 12 or higher on the 10-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies–Depression Scale. Odds ratios with a 95% confidence interval was calculated for depression using multiple logistic regression models after adjusting for age, sex, socioeconomic status, health behavioral factors, and chronic diseases. The fully adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for symptomatic/diagnostic depression were “1” = 2.09 (1.62–2.49)/1.71 (1.03–2.86), “2” = 1.88 (1.42–2.49)/1.82 (1.05–3.13), and “>3” = 2.27 (1.71–3.01)/3.21 (1.94–5.32), and 1.86 (1.48–2.33)/1.57 (1.00–2.49) for mild, 1.74 (1.22–2.48)/2.10 (1.11–3.98) for moderate, and 5.41 (3.77–7.77)/7.34 (4.15–12.99) for severe of pain. The results indicated a significant association between the number of sites and severity of pain and the prevalence of depression in the Korean elderly.

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