Neuroticism in remitted major depression: Elevated with early onset but not late onset of depression

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Anders Gade, Marius Kristoffersen, Lars Vedel Kessing

BACKGROUND: The personality trait of neuroticism is strongly related to depression, but depression is etiologically heterogeneous. Late-onset depression (LOD) may be more closely related to vascular factors, and previous studies of neuroticism in LOD versus early-onset depression (EOD) have not been consistent. METHOD: We examined neuroticism, extraversion and perceived stress in 88 fully remitted depressed patients with a mean age of 60 years and with a history of hospitalization for major depressive disorder. Patients were divided into those with onset after and those with onset before 50 years of age (LOD and EOD, respectively), and the two groups were compared both with each other and with matched control groups of healthy subjects. RESULTS: EOD patients showed increased levels of neuroticism in comparison with both LOD and matched controls, who did not differ. The association between age of onset and neuroticism was confirmed in analyses based on age of depression onset as a continuous variable. CONCLUSION: Neuroticism may be an etiological factor in EOD but not or less so in LOD. This finding contributes to the growing evidence for etiological differences between early- and late-onset late-life depression
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychopathology
Volume48
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)400-407
Number of pages8
ISSN0254-4962
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 153318441