Association of Depression with Sexual and Daily Activities: A Community Study of Ocotogenarian Men

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Objective: To determine the association between clinically significant depressive symptoms, routine function, and sexual interest and practice in a community-derived sample of octogenarian men.
Methods: Cross-sectional study of 1,649 community-dwelling men aged 80 years or over with no history of terminal illnesses or neurodegenerative diseases. Men with Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) scores greater than or equal to 10 were deemed to be clinically depressed. Scores between 5 and 9 were considered indicative of subthreshold depression. We used standard procedures to collect self-reported sociodemographic, lifestyle, and clinical data, as well as basic and instrumental activities of daily living, and a structured questionnaire to ask men about their 12-month interest in sex, frequency, past experiences, and current sexual problems.
Results: 121 men (7.3%) had clinically significant depression and 239 (14.5%) had subthreshold depression. Depressive symptoms were associated with difficulties in basic and instrumental activities of daily living, but not with sexual practice. Decreased interest in sex and anxiety before sex were associated with subthreshold depression. Clinically significant depressive symptoms were independently and positively associated with past history of diabetes (odds ratio [OR]: 2.1, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.1–4.0), depression (OR: 9.0; 95% CI: 4.6–17.3), impaired ability to groom (OR: 3.7, 95% CI: 1.2–11.0), carry out heavy housework duties (OR: 2.4, 95% CI: 1.1–5.1), manage finances (OR: 2.5, 95% CI: 1.1–5.7), or engage in leisure activities (OR: 4.1, 95% CI: 2.0–8.2).
Conclusions: Ability to function effectively at home, financial autonomy, and leisure are associated with clinically significant depression in octogenarian men. Maintaining daily function and autonomy may be a suitable target for interventions that aim to reduce the prevalence and incidence of depression in older age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-242
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number3
Early online date5 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


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