Nearly 10 Percent of Adults Report Depression Symptoms

BRFSS data show 3.4 percent with major depression, which is more common in women
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one out of 10 American adults has symptoms of current depression, with estimates of depression varying widely between states, according to research published in the Oct. 1 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The authors analyzed Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data from 2006 and 2008 on 235,067 adult respondents in 45 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They defined current depression as meeting BRFSS criteria for major depression or other depression in the previous two weeks.

The researchers found that 9 percent met the criteria for current depression, including 3.4 percent meeting the criteria for major depression. Women were more likely than men to report major depression (4 versus 2.7 percent), as were those without health insurance coverage (5.9 versus 2.9 percent of those with health insurance). The proportion of residents with any current depression ranged from 4.8 percent in North Dakota to 14.8 percent in Mississippi.

"State and territorial variations in depression prevalence might result from differences in socioeconomic status, prevalence of comorbid mental and physical disorders (particularly chronic conditions), and access to health care and treatment (e.g., availability of mental health service providers). In this study, a greater prevalence of depression was found in southeastern states, where a greater prevalence of chronic conditions associated with depression also has been observed (e.g., obesity and stroke)," the authors write.

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