University of Calgary

Study finds relationship between chronic illness and depression

Submitted by darmstro on Mon, 2011-06-13 13:51.

June 13, 2011

ew research from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI), at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine, shows that adults over the age of 50 with at least one chronic illness (such as migraine) are more likely to experience a major depressive episode, than those living without a chronic illness.

With the number of seniors expected to double over the next 25 to 50 years, this information is vital to create awareness for both individuals and health practitioners.

The study utilized data collected by Statistics Canada between May and December 2002, from the Canadian Community Health Survey – Mental Health and Wellbeing.  Information was analyzed from 15,591 participants over the age of 50, while a separate analysis was done for people over 65 years of age.  The study focused on ‘community dwelling’ adults who were not living in a hospital, care facility or retirement home.

The discovery brings awareness to prevention efforts targeting older adults exhibiting symptoms of depression or chronic illnesses.

Research findings were published in this month’s edition of Journal of Affective Disorders.

Media contact:
Kathryn Sloniowski, 403.220.2232,
Marta Cyperling, 403.210.3835,