Study finds black older adults are under-treated for depression

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Many seniors, especially African Americans, are not treated for depression, a new study reveals.

About 1 in 5 elderly Medicaid recipients diagnosed with depression get neither psychotherapy nor a prescription for antidepressants, the study said. More than 1 in 3 blacks goes untreated.

"We thought that there would be a difference -- we didn't think there would be that big a difference," Dr. Harry Strothers III, of Morehouse School of Medicine in East Point, GA, told Reuters Health.

Strothers and his team examined 1998 Medicaid claims data for five US states, which included 7,339 patients 65 to 84 years old who had been diagnosed with depression. The research is published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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