Aging, depression, and non-communicable diseases in South Africa

Author name: 
Manoj K Pandey
Vani S Kulkarni
Raghav Gaiha

This is the first study that offers a comprehensive analysis of depression among the old (60+ years) in South Africa. By using an analytical framework that builds on the (sparse) extant literature and a new dataset extracted from the four waves of the South African National Income Dynamics Study (2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014), we examine factors contributing to depression of people in this age cohort. Depending on whether the dependent variable is binary (self-reported depression for ≥ 3 days in a week) or continuous (as in two indices of depression), we use random effects probit estimator with Mundlak adjustment or simply random effects with Mundlak adjustment. It is found that, among the old, those in their sixties, the Africans and Coloureds, women, those suffering from multimorbidity, those in lower asset quartiles, and individuals suffering family bereavement are more likely to be depressed. Factors that attenuate depression include marriage, pension, affluence, and trust in a community and familiar neighbourhoods.

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