Depressive symptoms and nine-year survival of 1,001 male veterans hospitalized with medical illness

Harold G. Koenig, Linda K. George, David R. Larson, Michael E. McCullough, Patricia S. Branch, Maragatha Kuchibhatla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Authors examined effects of depressive symptoms on after-discharge survival of hospitalized medically ill male veterans. Psychosocial and physical health evaluations were performed on a consecutive sample of 1,001 patients ages 20-39 (16%) and 65102 years (84%). Subjects or surviving family members were later contacted by telephone, and Cox proportional-hazards regression modeled the effects of depressive symptoms on time-to-death, controlling for demographics and social, psychiatric, and physical health. Follow-up was obtained on all 1,001 patients (average observation time, 9 years), during which 667 patients died (67%). Patients with depressive symptoms were significantly less likely to survive. For every 1-point increase on the 12-item Brief Carroll Depression Rating Scale (BCDRS), the hazard of dying increased by 10% (P<O.0001). Age did not significantly affect the association between depressive symptoms and mortality. Depressive symptoms during acute hospitalization are a predictor of shortened survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-131
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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