Mental health in old age: the role of social disadvantages throughout the life course and across birth cohorts

PI: Serhiy Dekhtyar

Depression in late life demands urgent attention, due to its severe consequences for the individuals, their families, and the healthcare systems. This project seeks to reveal life-course pathways to depression in older adults. Specifically, we aim to (1) identify the most suitable life-course model for the association between lifelong social disadvantage and depression in late life, (2) establish if the association between social disadvantage over the life-course and depression in late life is mediated by the burden of multiple somatic conditions in old age, and (3) assess if somatic burden mediates the association between social disadvantage and depression differently across the birth cohorts varying in their exposure to contextual factors. To achieve these aims, we rely on the expertise of a multidisciplinary team of researchers, as well as the high quality of the data from the Swedish National study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (SNAC-K). The results of this project will inform public health policies aimed at alleviating the impact of social disadvantages on mental health. The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life, and Welfare (FORTE).