Latent Class Analysis: a new vision of the phenomenon of depression in elderly men in the Brazilian Northeast

Abstract Objective: to identify the prevalence of depression in elderly men and associated factors using Latent Class Analysis. Method: a cross-sectional, epidemiological study evaluating 162 Primary Care users resident in the community in Recife, Brazil, was carried out. The Yesavage Geriatric Depression Scale was used as a screening instrument. The study was based on descriptive analysis and Latent Class Analysis, which allows the indirect measurement of the phenomenon of Depression by measuring the latent phenomenon of depression through 15 directly observed questions/answers from the scale used followed by ordinal logistic regression. Results: Elderly men with up to four years of schooling had a 2.43 times greater chance of developing depression. Those with normal levels of cortisol were less likely to become depressed while elderly men with low levels of Vitamin D and testosterone and high levels of thyroid stimulating hormones (TSH) were more likely to be depressed. The prevalence of the highest level of depression in the study population was 29% and was associated with low levels of education and alterations in the clinical data investigated. Conclusion: The study concluded that Latent Class Analysis allowed an innovative perspective of the phenomenon of depression and its relationship with associated factors, allowing a better and broader approach to this phenomenon in clinical practice.