A colleague recently gave me a copy of a research study.
It's a study on depression in the elderly, published in the 2012 Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
I really haven't spent a lot of time absorbing the results because I was distracted by the thought of one of the subgroups in the study.
The study included 139 centenarians!
One-hundred and thirty-nine folks over the age of 100!
How/where did they find these folks?
The other groups included 91 sexagenarians (between the age of 60-70) and 93 octogenarians (between the age of 80-90).
I've had quite a few patients over the years in their 90's, but I've never had the honor of taking care of someone in their 100's.
As an aside, I did need to review a few other definitions. A septuagenarian is a person between the age of 70-80 and a nonagenarian is someone between the age of 90-100.
A supercentenarian is a person who has lived to the age of 110 or more, something achieved by only 1/1000 centenarians.
You see, aren't you distracted as well?
Lets get back to the study. Basically, the results of the study were as follows: Although the current rating scales for depression indicated most of the centenarians were depressed (on paper, that is), ALL the centenarians reported being in good spirits. In summary, therefore, the validity of the currently used depression rating scales for use in centenarians (I just like saying the word) is questionable.