Corresponding Author

Quan Wang


Background Depression is a common mental illness threatening physical and psychological health of middle-aged and elderly people. However, there are few large-scale studies focusing on depression and its influencing factors in middle-aged and elderly Chinese women. Objective To investigate the depression prevalence and associated factors in middle-agedand elderly Chinese women, providing evidence for exploring mental health and effective interventions in this population.Methods This study was conducted from January to March 2021. Data were obtained from the China Health and RetirementLongitudinal Study (CHARLS), involving 7963 women at age 45 or over, including demographic characteristics, physicalhealth status, socio-economic features, life satisfaction, regional distribution(eastern, central or western China), and depressive prevalence assessed by the 10-item Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D-10). The score of CES-D-10 ≥ 10 was considered as depressive symptoms. Robust OLS regression, robust Tobit regression and robust Logit regression were used to identify associated factors of depressive symptoms. Results The median CES-D-10 score of the participants was 8(4, 14)points. Except for 4490 cases(56.39%), the remaining 3473 cases (43.61%) were found with depressive symptoms, including1715(41.52%) aged 45-59 years, and 1758(45.88%) aged 60 or over. Analyses using three regression models indicated that age and age squared(OR=1.099, 0.999), education level (OR=0.897), living in rural or urban areas (OR=0.731), self-rated health (OR=1.245), physical disability (OR=1.332), chronic disease (OR=1.172), troubled with body pains(OR=1.579), BADL (activities of daily living) disability(OR=1.734), IADL(instrumental activities of daily living) disability(OR=1.967), living with spouse(partner)or not(OR=0.763), number of children(OR=1.074), using the internet or not(OR=0.773), having care support or not when needed (OR=1.509), having debt(OR=1.017), life satisfaction (OR=2.150), and regional distribution (OR=1.275) were associated with depression(P<0.05). Conclusion According to the data analysis of this study, the prevalence of depressive symptoms among middle-aged and elderly Chinese women was high, accounting for more than 40%. To control and prevent depressive symptoms to improve mental health status in this population, it is suggested to improve their education level, physical health status, family relations and life satisfaction, reduce their debt-financed consumption, and to offer them more ways to access information, and more social support, as well as to promote urbanization.

Original Publcation Date of Chinese Version


Original Issue