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Depression Statistics

Statistics on Depression according to the CDC

Depression Affects 1 in 10 U.S. Adults Depression affects many Americans at different levels. Learn how you can work with health providers to treat and monitor depression. Chart: Age-standardized (to U.S. population) percentage of adults meeting criteria for current depression based on responses to Patient Health Questionnaire 8 by state/territory – Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2006 and 2008§    §Data presented were collected by 16 states in 2008 and by 29 different states, the District of Columbia, and two territories in 2006. Five states (Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota) did not participate in either year. Nine states (Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Vermont and Washington) participated in both years, but only 2008 data were included.Depression can adversely affect the course and outcome of common chronic conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Depression also can result in increased work absenteeism, short-term disability, and decreased productivity.

Current Depression in U.S. Adults

To estimate the prevalence of current depression, CDC analyzed Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey data from 2006 and 2008. Current depression was defined as meeting criteria for either major depression or “other depression” during the 2 weeks preceding the survey. The MMWR report on current depression among U.S. adults summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that, among 235,067 adults (in 45 states, the District of Columba [DC], Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), 9% met the criteria for current depression, including 3.4% who met the criteria for major depression. In this study, increased prevalence of depression was found in southeastern states, where a greater prevalence of chronic conditions associated with depression has been observed (e.g., obesity and stroke). By state, age-standardized estimates for current depression ranged from 4.8% in North Dakota to 14.8% in Mississippi. The map below displays prevalence of current depression among US adults by state and territory for 2006 and 2008 BRFSS data.

Who Tends to be Most Depressed?

This study found the following groups to be more likely to meet criteria for major depression:

persons 45-64 years of age
blacks, Hispanics, non-Hispanic persons of other races or multiple races
persons with less than a high school education
those previously married
individuals unable to work or unemployed
persons without health insurance coverage
Other depression (or minor depression) results were similar except that 19-24 year olds reported it more than other age groups.
Treatment of Depression

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that health-care providers screen adults for depression when programs are in place to ensure that accurate diagnosis and effective treatment can be provided with careful monitoring and follow-up. The Task Force on Community Preventive Services recommends collaborative care, an approach that involves the collaboration of primary care providers, mental health specialists and other providers to improve disease management for adults with major depression on the basis of strong evidence of effectiveness in improving short-term depression outcomes.