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Depression and Medical Illness in Late Life: Race, Resources, and Stress 

Depression and Medical Illness in Late Life: Race, Resources, and Stress
Chapter:
Depression and Medical Illness in Late Life: Race, Resources, and Stress
Author(s):

Briana Mezuk

and Joseph J. Gallo

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199796816.003.0016
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date: 28 November 2020

In this chapter we set the stage for understanding the dynamic relationship between depression and medical conditions in later life by discussing the growing diversity of the aging population and the wide racial disparities in the burden of medical illness over the life course. We provide and discuss a conceptual framework that emphasizes the potential psychological, behavioral, social, and biological mechanisms through which depression and medical illness interact to cause disability and death. The intersection of stress, resources, depression, health behaviors, medical morbidity, and mortality across the life course provides an opportunity to synthesize our understanding of the sources of health disparities. This model has implications for development of new service delivery models that integrate the care of depression into the care of chronic medical conditions.

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