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New study of the prevalence of depression around the world conducted by the World Health Organisation

July 26, 2011

Medical News Today reports on new research into the prevalence of depression across the globe.The World Health Organisation estimates that depression affects about 121 million people worldwide and is among the leading causes of disability worldwide, while fewer than 25 % of those affected have access to effective treatments.

The study in question was conducted in conjunction with the World Health Organization World Mental Health (WMH) Survey Initiative:

researchers from 20 centers collaborated to investigate the prevalence of depression around the globe. To be classified as having had a Major Depressive Episode (MDE) a person was additionally required to fulfill five out of nine criteria including sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy and poor concentration.

Based on detailed interviews with over 89,000 people, the results showed that 15% of the population from high-income countries (compared to 11% for low/middle-income countries) were likely to get depression over their lifetime with 5.5% having had depression in the last year. MDE were elevated in high-income countries (28% compared to 20%) and were especially high (over 30%) in France, the Netherlands, and America. The country with the lowest incidence was China at 12% but, in contrast, MDE were very common in India (at almost 36%).

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/231722.php

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/9/90/abstract

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