Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults have been diagnosed with depression: CDC report

Mental health

June 16, 2023 | 10:02

Well that’s depressing.

A new report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that nearly 1 in 5 adults in the United States have been diagnosed with depression, and prevalence varies depending on where they live.

In 2020, 18.4% of US adults reported having ever received a diagnosis of depression in their lifetime from a health care professional with higher rates of depression in women, young adults ages 18-24, and adults with depression. lower education levels.

Researchers from the CDC and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education in Tennessee estimate over a statewide range from about 12.7 percent in Hawaii to 27.5 percent in West Virginia.

They looked at data from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to analyze how adults responded to a 2020 survey about whether they had been diagnosed with a depressive disorder by a health care professional, and nearly 400,000 respondents across all 50 states and Washington DC answered the question about depression. .

There was considerable geographic variation in depression prevalence, with the highest state and county depression estimates observed along the Appalachian and southern Mississippi Valley regions, the report said.

The 10 states with the highest prevalence of adults ever diagnosed with depression were, from highest to lowest: West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Vermont, Alabama, Louisiana, Washington, Missouri, and Montana.

There was a higher prevalence of depression in women, young adults aged 18 to 24, and adults with lower educational attainments.

The variation in depression could also reflect the influence of social determinants of health across counties and states, including economic status and differences in health care access, the researchers added. For example, adults in the Appalachian region tend to have lower incomes, higher poverty rates, and lower educational attainments, all of which can negatively impact health and well-being.

Overall, depression was more prevalent in women (24%) than men (13.3%) and in young adults (21.5%) than adults 65 years of age and older (14.2%).

This report provides current national, state and county level prevalence estimates of adults reporting a lifetime diagnosis of depression, the report concludes. These estimates can help decision makers direct resource allocation to areas where the need is greatest.

Overall, depression was more prevalent in women (24%) than men (13.3%) and in young adults (21.5%) than adults 65 years of age and older (14.2%).

In May, a Gallup poll also revealed that rates of depression have reached record highs in the United States, particularly among young adults and women.

Results of the survey that asked about 5,000 adults: Has a doctor or nurse ever told you that you have depression? and Do you currently have or are you currently being treated for depression? showed that 29% reported having been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives.

Additionally, 17.8 percent of respondents said they had or were being treated for depression, with Gallup noting that these are the highest rates since this depression data collection method began in 2015.

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