Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 14–19

Late-life depression and alcoholism

  • Frederic C. Blow
  • Alisha M. Serras
  • Kristen Lawton Barry

DOI: 10.1007/s11920-007-0004-z

Cite this article as:
Blow, F.C., Serras, A.M. & Barry, K.L. Curr Psychiatry Rep (2007) 9: 14. doi:10.1007/s11920-007-0004-z


The relationship between alcohol use and later-life depression is complex. At-risk and problem drinking elevates the risk of depressive symptoms. The co-occurrence of alcohol use disorders and depression increases the potential for poor mental and physical health outcomes in older adults. Many older adults who are experiencing problems related to alcohol use do not meet alcohol abuse/dependence criteria. Depressive symptoms among older adults often are overlooked or misdiagnosed. The role of at-risk and problem alcohol use in depressive symptoms and vice versa may be underestimated. After a review of the literature, clinical recommendations for addressing late-life alcohol misuse and depression are presented.

Copyright information

© Current Medicine Group LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederic C. Blow
    • 1
  • Alisha M. Serras
  • Kristen Lawton Barry
  1. 1.University of Michigan Department of PsychiatryAnn ArborUSA