Friday, November 18, 2005

Largest Survey On Major Depressive Disorder

Research from the largest survey of psychiatric disorders among U.S. adults indicated a larger picture than previously reported of major depressive disorder (MDD) in specific population groups. The National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) also indicated a strong relationship of MDD to alcohol use disorders, drug disorders and other mental health conditions.
Researchers at Columbis University's Mailman School of Public Health reported middle age, female , Native American, low income, separation, divorce or widowhood increased the likelihood of current or lifetime MDD. The most striking findings to emerge from the study were the elevated rates of major deprssion in baby boomers and in Native Americans. This was expressed by lead author Deborah Hasin, PhD, professor of clinical Epidemiology at the Mailman School.
Research involved interviews with more than 43,000 non-institutionalized individuals over 18 years with questions that reflect diagnostic criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The findings conclude that five percent experienced MDD during the 12 months preceding the survey and 13 percent experienced MDD at any time during their lives. Notable is the shift among the highest lifetime risk from younger adults during the 1980's and 1990's to the middle-aged adults of today. Dr. Hasin feels this is an improtant transformation in the distribution of MDD in the general population and specific risk for those aged 45-64.
The risk of the onset of MDD increases between age 12 and 16 and more gradually up to the early 40's when it begins to decline, with mean age of onset at about 30. Women are twice as likely then men to experience MDD and are more likely to receive treatment. About 60 percent of those with MDD received treatment specifically for the disorder. Of all who experienced MDD, nearly half wanted to die, one third considered suicide, and nine percent attempted suicide. Research also shows that those with MDD, 14 percent have an alcohol abuse disorder, 5 percent have a drug use disorder, and 26 percent are have a dependence for nicotine. More than 37 percent have a personality disorder and more than 36 percent have at least one anxiety disorder.
These results demonstrate a strong relationship of MDD to substance dependence and a relationship to substance abuse. The NESARC also found strong relationships between MDD and anxiety disorders. MDD was strongly associated with personality disordrs. Mailman School colleague Renee Goodwin, PhD, assistant professor of Epidemiology believes this study provides the grounds for further investigation in a number of areas. Complete findings were published in the October 2005 Archives of General Psychiatry.

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