Deakin University

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Association between alcohol consumption and self-reported depression among elderly Australian men

Version 2 2024-06-02, 13:15
Version 1 2014-12-09, 14:38
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-02, 13:15 authored by CE Coulson, Lana WilliamsLana Williams, Michael BerkMichael Berk, DI Lubman, Shae QuirkShae Quirk, Julie PascoJulie Pasco
Background: Links between alcohol consumption and depression have been reported; however, associations amongst the elderly remain unclear. We aimed to investigate the relationship between alcohol consumption and self-reported depression in a population-based sample of 514 men aged 65+ (median 76.4yr, IQR 71.2-82.4). Methods: Alcohol intake over the previous 12 months was estimated from a food frequency questionnaire. Participants were classified as non-drinkers or habitual consumers of ≤2 or ≥3 standard drinks per day. Symptoms of past and 12-month depression were ascertained by self-report based on DSM-IV criteria. Using logistic regression, we estimated the association between alcohol intake and depression, adjusting for age and lifestyle factors. Results: There were 91 non-drinkers (17.7%), 249 (48.4%) consuming ≤2 drinks/day, and 174 (33.9%) consuming ≥3 drinks/day. Forty eight (9.3%) were identified as having lifetime depression and 31 (6.0%) with 12-month depression. With those consuming ≤2 drinks/day as the reference, the odds of lifetime depression were greater for non-drinkers (OR=2.50, 95% CI 1.15-5.44) and tended to be greater for those consuming ≥3 (OR=1.45 95% CI 0.70-3.00). After excluding those with past depression, the likelihood of 12-month depression tended to be greater for non-drinkers (OR=2.38 95% CI 0.89-6.38) and those consuming ≥3 drinks/day (OR=1.68 95% CI 0.70-4.07). These associations were not explained by age, mobility, smoking, BMI, SES or number of medications. Conclusions: These results suggest a U-shaped relationship between alcohol consumption and depression in this sample of elderly men.



Geriatric Mental Health Care






Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C Journal article, C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2014, Elsevier GmbH




Elsevier GmbH