Comorbidity of depression and anxiety disorders in later life

Eric J. Lenze, Benoit H. Mulsant, M. Katherine Shear, George S. Alexopoulos, Ellen Frank, Charles F. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Since psychiatric disorders differ throughout the lifespan in phenomenology, course, and treatment, there is need for study of comorbidity of such disorders in geriatric populations. Prior findings of low prevalence of comorbid late-life anxiety disorders in depressed elderly are now disputed by recent studies. Risk factors for comorbid late-life depression and anxiety may be different from those for depression without anxiety. Similar to adults, elderly depressives with comorbid anxiety symptoms present with more severe pathology and have a more difficult course of illness, including decreased or delayed treatment response. In this paper, we review the literature on anxiety and depression comorbidity in late life, and we make recommendations for the assessment and treatment of comorbid late-life anxiety and depression. We also recommend directions for future research in the area of psychiatric comorbidity in late life. Depression and Anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-93
Number of pages8
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Geriatric psychiatry


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