It is a given fact that people want to live as long as they can, but living longer may not be the joyride that people think it to be, researchers advise. Helena Chui, lecturer in psychology at University of Bradford in England, said, “It is the first study to tell us depressive symptoms continue to increase throughout old age”.
Chui explained how we have had success in terms of increasing the average life expectancy of people and also the number of people living longer, but when we look closer, it appears that people are not able to cope with it. For the findings, researchers studied over 2, 000 older Australians residing in the Adelaide area for 15 years. Both men and women who had taken part in the study had reported an increase in their depressive symptoms as they grew older. The women were observed to have started with more depressive symptoms compared with men. Men, however, showed a faster rate of increase in their symptoms. The different in the genders was thus reversed at the age of 80.
Some of the key factors that increased the symptoms of depression include onset of medical conditions, level of physical impairment and the close proximity to death. Half of the participants in the study had suffered arthritis and both men as well as women who had the chronic medical condition reported more depressive symptoms than those who did not have it.
Dr Chui said that the findings of the study are quite significant and thus, have implications for how one deals with old age.
The study has been published in the journal Psychology and Aging.
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