What is the prognosis of late-onset major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Aug 06, 2020
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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The prognosis for patients with late-onset depression is felt to be poorer than that for younger patients, and it appears to be dependent on physical disability or illness and lack of social support. Of particular importance is the increasing risk of death by suicide, particularly among elderly men. The length of a depressive episode in the aging population is approximately 18 months, whereas in people 20–55 years of age, the length of an episode is 18 to 24 weeks.

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