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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The Netherlands study of depression in older persons (NESDO); a prospective cohort study

Hannie C Comijs115*, Harm W van Marwijk2, Roos C van der Mast3, Paul Naarding4, Richard C Oude Voshaar56, Aartjan TF Beekman7, Marjolein Boshuisen8, Janny Dekker9, Rob Kok10, Margot WM de Waal11, Brenda WJH Penninx12, Max L Stek13 and Johannes H Smit14

Author Affiliations

1 Department Psychiatry/EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center/GGZinGeest, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2 Department of General Practice and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3 Department of Psychiatry, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands

4 Department of Old-age Psychiatry, GGNet, Apeldoorn/Zutphen, The Netherlands

5 University Center of Psychiatry & Interdisciplinary Center of Psychiatric Epidemiology, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

6 Department of Psychiatry, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

7 Department Psychiatry/EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

8 Lentis, Dignis, Groningen, The Netherlands

9 Department of General Practice, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

10 Department of Old-age Psychiatry, Parnassia/BAVO groep, The Hague, The Netherlands

11 Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands

12 Department Psychiatry, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research and Institute for Neurosciences, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

13 Department of Old-age Psychiatry, GGZinGeest, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

14 Department Psychiatry/EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research/Institute for Neurosciences, VU University Medical Center and GGZ inGeest, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

15 Department Psychiatry, VUMC, A.J. Ernststraat 1187, 1081 HL Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:524  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-524

Published: 5 December 2011

Abstract

Background

To study late-life depression and its unfavourable course and co morbidities in The Netherlands.

Methods

We designed the Netherlands Study of Depression in Older Persons (NESDO), a multi-site naturalistic prospective cohort study which makes it possible to examine the determinants, the course and the consequences of depressive disorders in older persons over a period of six years, and to compare these with those of depression earlier in adulthood.

Results

From 2007 until 2010, the NESDO consortium has recruited 510 depressed and non depressed older persons (≥ 60 years) at 5 locations throughout the Netherlands. Depressed persons were recruited from both mental health care institutes and general practices in order to include persons with late-life depression in various developmental and severity stages. Non-depressed persons were recruited from general practices. The baseline assessment included written questionnaires, interviews, a medical examination, cognitive tests and collection of blood and saliva samples. Information was gathered about mental health outcomes and demographic, psychosocial, biological, cognitive and genetic determinants. The baseline NESDO sample consists of 378 depressed (according to DSM-IV criteria) and 132 non-depressed persons aged 60 through 93 years. 95% had a major depression and 26.5% had dysthymia. Mean age of onset of the depressive disorder was around 49 year. For 33.1% of the depressed persons it was their first episode. 41.0% of the depressed persons had a co morbid anxiety disorder. Follow up assessments are currently going on with 6 monthly written questionnaires and face-to-face interviews after 2 and 6 years.

Conclusions

The NESDO sample offers the opportunity to study the neurobiological, psychosocial and physical determinants of depression and its long-term course in older persons. Since largely similar measures were used as in the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA; age range 18-65 years), data can be pooled thus creating a large longitudinal database of clinically depressed persons with adequate power and a large set of neurobiological, psychosocial and physical variables from both younger and older depressed persons.