Depression in the U.S. Household Population, 2009–2012

December 4, 2014

Depression is a serious medical illness with mood, cognitive, and physical symptoms. Depression is associated with higher rates of chronic disease, increased health care utilization, and impaired functioning. Rates of treatment remain low, and the treatment received is often inadequate.

A new NCHS report examines both depression and depressive symptom severity in the past 2 weeks from a symptom-based questionnaire, by demographic characteristics, functioning difficulties, and recent contact with a mental health professional. Severity is categorized as severe, moderate, mild, or no depressive symptoms. Current depression is defined as severe or moderate symptoms; no depression is defined as mild or no symptoms.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • During 2009–2012, 7.6% of Americans aged 12 and over had depression (moderate or severe depressive symptoms in the past 2 weeks). Depression was more prevalent among females and persons aged 40–59.
  • About 3% of Americans aged 12 and over had severe depressive symptoms, while almost 78% had no symptoms.
  • Persons living below the poverty level were nearly 2½ times more likely to have depression than those at or above the poverty level.
  • Almost 43% of persons with severe depressive symptoms reported serious difficulties in work, home, and social activities.
  • Of those with severe symptoms, 35% reported having contact with a mental health professional in the past year.

 

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Depression and Obesity in the U.S. Adult Household Population, 2005–2010

October 16, 2014

In 2005–2010, 34.6% of U.S. adults aged 20 and over were obese and 7.2% had depression, based on depressive symptoms experienced in the past 2 weeks. Both obesity and depression are associated with many health risks, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and functional limitations. Studies have shown higher rates of obesity in persons with depression. This relationship may vary by sex.  Almost 11% of adults take antidepressant medication including persons who are responding well and persons who still have moderate to severe symptoms of depression. Use of some antidepressants is positively related to obesity.

A new report looks at the relationship between depression (defined by moderate to severe symptoms) and antidepressant usage and obesity may inform treatment and prevention strategies for both conditions.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • Forty-three percent of adults with depression were obese, and adults with depression were more likely to be obese than adults without depression.
  • In every age group, women with depression were more likely to be obese than women without depression.
  • The prevalence of obesity was higher for non-Hispanic white women with depression compared with non-Hispanic white women without depression, a relationship that was not present in non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American women.
  • The proportion of adults with obesity rose as the severity of depressive symptoms increased.
  • Fifty-five percent of adults who were taking antidepressant medication, but still reported moderate to severe depressive symptoms, were obese.