Depressive symptoms in middle-aged men: results from a household survey in Hong Kong. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: To evaluate the prevalence and risk factors of depressive symptoms in middle-aged Chinese men aged 45-64. METHODS: A community-based cross-sectional household survey was performed in Hong Kong. Demographic, lifestyle and medical information were obtained from a standardized questionnaire. Clinically relevant depressive symptoms were measured by the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). RESULTS: Five hundred forty five men participated in this study (response rate: 72.4%); 18.1% suffered from clinically depressive symptoms. For psychosocial factors in bivariate analyses, being divorced/separated/widowed, living alone, having an education level of primary school or less, having a low income, unemployment and having experienced a significant life event over the past year were associated with an increased odds of having depressive symptoms. In multiple regression analysis, living alone, being unemployed and having experienced a negative life event such as having experienced serious financial trouble, having given up a hobby or activity that was important to subject and having been separated from a child, close friend or relative were associated with increased odds of having clinically relevant depressive symptoms. LIMITATIONS: Although random sampling was performed, there might be a selection bias for men who were unemployed and at home at the time of the interview. CONCLUSIONS: Clinically relevant depressive symptoms are an important public health problem in Chinese middle-aged men particularly those who are unemployed, have a negative life events and live alone. As middle-aged men are at high risk for suicide, public health intervention should be targeted at these men.

published proceedings

  • J Affect Disord

author list (cited authors)

  • Wong, S., Chan, D., & Leung, P. C.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Wong, Samuel Yeung Shan||Chan, Dicken||Leung, Ping Chung

publication date

  • June 2006