A prevalence of depression of 13% was found among 139 coloured persons aged 65 years and over, living in the community in Cape Town, which accords with figures elsewhere. A high rate of hypochondriasis was found, but there was a low rate of suicidal intent, which could be explained by good social support. Observed depression and a depressed mood occurred in almost all depressed patients; as defined in the Present State Examination, these items appear to be an excellent screen for depression.