Prevalence of Depression among Iranian Elderly: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Observational Studies

Document Type : Review


1 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Research Institute for Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran

2 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Research Institute for Health Development, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

3 Be’sat Hospital, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

4 Spiritual Health Research Center, Research Institute for Health Development, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

5 Clinical Care Research Center, Research Institute for Health Development, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

6 Department of Mathematics, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran

7 Lecturer in Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacy Practice, Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK


Background: Depression is a common mental disorder that affects a significant portion of older adults. In Iran, there is limited information on the prevalence of depression among this population. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to determine the pooled prevalence of depression among Iranian elderly individuals.
Objectives: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies examining the prevalence of depression among Iranian elderly people.
Methods: We searched various electronic databases, including SID, MagIran, PubMed, Scopus, ScienceDirect, Web of Science, and Google Scholar, for articles published from January 2000 to December 2022. The keywords "senile depression," "geriatric depression," "elderly," "depression," "depressive disorder," and "Iran" or any combination of these terms were used. Two writers worked separately on data extraction and quality evaluation.
Results: Twenty-four studies met our inclusion criteria, yielding an overall prevalence rate of depression among Iranian elderly individuals of 53.7% (95% CI: 43.1-64.4). Gender subgroup analysis revealed that the prevalence of depression was significantly higher in women (50%, 95% CI: 42.3-69.7) compared to men (42.2%, 95% CI: 28.2-56.3). Furthermore, we found a statistically significant association between the sample size of the studies and the prevalence of depression (p = 0.009).
Conclusion: Our study suggests that depression is a major public health concern among Iranian elderly individuals. These findings underscore the need for further research into the underlying factors contributing to depression in this population and the development of effective interventions to address it.


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