Background: With the gradual aging of the population, geriatric depression has become a major public health issue in China owing to its overall upward trend and associated negative socio-economic impact. Dearth of information regarding the burden and correlates of geriatric depression among Uyghur minority population in Xinjiang Autonomous Region, called for a comprehensive survey involving representative sample for designing efficient targeted intervention to control this disabling disease. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1329 consenting Uyghur elderly in 2011 in six randomly selected communities/villages in Xinjiang. Information about socio-demographics, behavior, negative life-events, satisfaction regarding income/quality of life and other chronic diseases were collected while assessment of geriatric depression was done using Geriatric Mental State Schedule (GMS). Results: Among these participants, majority were currently married, had attended elementary school or less, had an average annual family income of less than 3000 Yuan/person, had strong religious beliefs while 10.61% (2.77% in urban and 23.60% in rural area) had geriatric depression (5.91% among male and 14.58% among females). 61.83% were suffering from other chronic diseases, 96.16% could take care of themselves and 39.28% had experienced negative events during last two years. Religious belief (AOR=3.92, 95% CI 1.18-13.03), satisfaction regarding quality of life (AOR=0.53, 95% CI 0.37-0.84) and income (AOR=0.75, 95% CI 0.35-1.60), suffering from more chronic diseases (AOR=1.70, 95% CI 1.42-2.04), experiencing three or more negative events (AOR=1.72, 95% CI 0.92-3.22) and lack of ability to take self-care (AOR=2.20, 95% CI 1.09-4.48) were all associated with having geriatric depression with or without adjustment for gender, education and occupation. Conclusion: High prevalence of geriatric depression among Uyghur elderly in Xinjiang seemed to call for urgent interventions, specifically targeting rural residents, who experienced more negative life-events, were suffering from chronic diseases and were dissatisfied with their income and quality of life.
Lei, F., Ping, L., Chen, L., WeiMing, T., Mahapatra, T., Yu, W., … Zhi, H. (2014). Burden and correlates of geriatric depression in the Uyghur elderly population, observation from Xinjiang, China. PLoS ONE. Retrieved from http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0114139