Depression as a Pivotal Component in Secondary Aging

Opportunities for Research, Treatment, and Prevention
  • Ira R. Katz
Part of the The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)


There is increasing evidence that depression, together with related affective and behavior symptoms, can play a pivotal role in secondary aging, the process by which medical illnesses accumulate as a correlate of increasing age. In addition to mechanisms by which it can result from psychological mechanisms associated with the stress and losses of function associated with medical illness, depression can result from disease-related changes in the brain and the cerebral environment. Moreover, once depression occurs, it can affect the course of associated medical illness, amplifying distress, disability, morbidity, and, possibly, mortality. Thus, knowledge of depression and of medical—psychiatric comor-bidity in late life can be critical to understanding the downward spiral of deterioration and disability that is frequent in late life.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Major Depression Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Medical Illness Late Life 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ira R. Katz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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