US Pharm. (32(11):10.
the United States, one in four Americans either suffered from a mood disorder
in his or her lifetime or currently suffers from one. Based on the Third
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) data, mental
illness is prevalent primarily in those 15 to 44 years old. Nearly 15% of
females and about 8% of males have suffered from a mood disorder; each type of
disorder was more prevalent among women than among men. The most common type
of mood disorder for women (11.2%) and men (6%) was major depressive episode.
Individuals whose health was poor had the highest incidence of mood disorder,
while people whose health was very good had the lowest incidence (6.2% for
men, 10.8% for women). Both male and female asthmatics were more likely to
experience a mood disorder than nonasthmatics. Mood disorder affected 12.8% of
men and 22.3% women with hypertension and 8% of men and 13.5% of women without
hypertension. Individuals who were widowed, separated, or divorced had a high
incidence of mood disorder, while married people had a low incidence.
Race: White non-Hispanic women (12.7%) were most likely to experience major depressive disorder, whereas black non-Hispanic men (4.6%) were least likely to have this condition. Mexican-American women (9.6%) were most likely to experience dysthymia, whereas white non-Hispanic men (4.1%) were least likely to have dysthymia.
Level of Education: Women who did not complete high school (18%) had the highest incidence of any mood disorder, while men with some college education (7.4%) had the lowest incidence of any mood disorder. Major depressive episode occurred most often among women with a high school level of education (13%) and least often among men with a high school level of education (5.4%). Dysthymia occurred most often among women who did not complete high school (12.6%) and least often among men with some college education (1.9%).
Income: Overall, women with low incomes had the highest incidence of any mood disorder (19.1%), and men with high incomes had the lowest incidence of any mood disorder (5.7%). Major depressive episode occurred most often among women with low incomes (13.6%) and least often among men with high incomes (5.6%). Dysthymia occurred most often among women with low incomes (13.1%) and least often among men with high incomes (0.9%).
Depression is responsible for the greatest proportion of burden attributable to nonfatal health outcomes, accounting for 12% of total years lived with disability worldwide. The National Committee for Quality Assurance reports that only 40.1% of patients with depression "received effective continuation phase treatment." Without treatment, depression tends to have a chronic course, to recur, and to be associated with increasing disability over time.
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