Richer countries have higher depression rates

Richer countries have higher depression rates

An international team working with the World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Survey Initiative talked with nearly 90,000 people in eighteen different countries using the internationally-recognised checklist for major depressive episode (MDE).  The results showed clearly that the richer the country, the higher the depression (with one expected and famous notable exception).  In the highest income countries surveyed, an average of 15% had suffered from depression.  In the lower and middle income countries, 11% had suffered depression.  

The Highest Depression Rates

  1. France – 21%
  2. USA – 19.2%

The Lowest Depression Rates

  1. China – 6.5%
  2. Mexico – 8%

Depression at a young age

  1. USA – age 22.7
  2. New Zealand – age 24.2

Spain and Japan had the latest average age of onset at age 30 and 30.1.

High-income countries showed the highest levels of impairment from the disorder.

World Health Organization considers depression to be the 4th leading cause of disability in the world.

Japan again stands out
There was one country that stood out amongst the richest nations and it stands out in all the health and disease statistics.  Japan has the highest plant and fibre intake, the highest fruit and vegetable intake, the highest amount of vegetarians (and lower levels of drinking alcohol and eating junk-foods), and had just 7% depression rates.  Even then, it onset at age 30, rather than at a younger age as in so many other countries.

We have shown that depression is a significant public health concern across all regions of the world and is strongly linked to social conditions” said study researcher Evelyn Bromet, PhD, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stony Brook University, N.Y., to WebMD Medical News.

As reported June 6, 2012 by WebMD Medical News.

Posted: Saturday 16 June 2012