(HealthDay News) — Older adults with a digestive disease are more likely to report loneliness and moderate-to-severe depression, both of which are associated with poor-to-fair health, according to a study published online Sept. 7 in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Shirley Cohen-Mekelburg, MD, from Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, and colleagues conducted an analysis of data from the Health and Retirement Study from 2008 to 2016 to examine the psychosocial factors contributing to a person’s health. The frequency of loneliness, depression and social isolation was compared for older adults with and without a digestive disease (3,979 and 3,131 respondents, respectively).
The researchers found that of the respondents with and without digestive disease, 60.4 and 55.6% reported loneliness, respectively; 12.7 and 7.5% reported severe depression, respectively; and 8.9 and 8.7% reported social isolation, respectively. Compared with those without digestive disease, patients with a digestive disease were more likely to report poor-or-fair health after adjusting for covariates (odds ratio, 1.25). Loneliness and moderate and severe depression were associated with greater odds of poor or fair health among those with a digestive disease (odds ratios, 1.43, 2.93 and 8.96, respectively).
“Being aware of the link between loneliness, depressive symptoms, and digestive diseases can really benefit your patients from a holistic perspective,” Cohen-Mekelburg said in a statement.
One author disclosed ties to Natrol and F. Hoffmann-La Roche.