One in eight older adults experienced depression for the first time during the pandemic

The high rate of first-onset depression in 2020 highlights the substantial mental health toll that the pandemic caused in a formerly mentally healthy group of older adults. Photo: Pexels

(Medical Xpress) –– A new, large-scale study of more than 20,000 older adults in Canada found that approximately 1 in 8 older adults developed depression for the first time during the pandemic.

For those who had experienced depression in the past, the numbers were even worse. By the autumn of 2020 almost half (45%) of this group reported being depressed.

Published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the research analyzed responses from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, which collected data from participants for an average of seven years. (…)