Elderly depression in Pakistan: An emerging public health challenge

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Depression in elderly is a growing and a major public health problem in both the developing countries and developed world. It is anticipated to touch second place of DALYs (Disability Adjusted Life Years) by 2020 and single leading cause by 2030 (World Federation for Mental Health, 2012). It is also interesting to note that elderly populations above 55 years with depression have four times higher death rate than those without depression (WHO Report, 2001). Elderly living in Pakistan experience significant level of physical, social and psychological health problems, leading to increased burden of chronic diseases, disabilities, and psychiatric illnesses. In Pakistan, depression is the most common psychiatric disorder among elderly population that cannot be neglected (Bhamani, Karim& Khan, 2013). The magnitude of the problem is much greater than what is being reported. In United States, the rate of prevalence of depression is high as 40% where as in Pakistan it is as high as 66% among elderly (Javed& Mustafa, 2013). This paper will provide an in depth analysis on the major determinants of depression among elderly in Pakistani context. These determinants are the root cause of the issue among elderly and it includes genetic/biological factors, physical factors, and economic factors, sociocultural and political/organizational factors. Timely identification of these determinants and prospective workup and recommendations will be a rationale attempt towards improvement of physical and psychological wellbeing of geriatric population.


International Journal of Innovative Research and Development