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Care of the older person
Association between affective disorders and frailty across the life course challenges systems of care
  1. M. Barton Laws
  1. Department of Health Services, Policy and Practice, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr M. Barton Laws, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI 02912, USA; Michael_Barton_Laws{at}

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Commentary on: Borges MK, Jeuring HW, Marijnissen RM, et al. Frailty and affective disorders throughout adult life: a 5-year follow-up of the lifelines cohort study. J Am Geriatr Soc 2022. [Epub ahead of print: 30 Aug 2022]. doi: 10.1111/jgs.18021.

Implications for practice and research

  • Nursing homes and other facilities that care for people with medical needs and physical limitations must also be equipped to address behavioural health needs.

  • Further research is needed to better understand the causal relationships between behavioural health problems and physical health status, and how to prevent and address behavioural disorders and comorbidity.


It is well known that psychiatric diagnoses are associated with other medical comorbidities, and shortened life expectancy. Borges et al apply the construct of frailty, which originated in gerontology and is usually applied …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.