HealthDay News — Diagnoses of major depression have increased since 2013, particularly among adolescents and millennials, according to a report published May 10 by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).
Researchers examined the incidence of major depression using data from the BCBS Health Index, which quantifies how diseases and conditions impact longevity and quality of life.
According to the report, major depression is the second most impactful condition on overall health for commercially insured Americans; the diagnosis rate is 4.4 percent, with more than nine million commercially insured Americans affected. Since 2013, diagnoses of major depression increased by 33 percent.
The rate increased faster among millennials (47 percent) and adolescents (47 percent for boys, 65 percent for girls). The rates of diagnosis of major depression are higher for women than men (6 and almost 3 percent, respectively). Compared to those not diagnosed with major depression, people diagnosed with major depression are nearly 30 percent less healthy, representing nearly 10 years of life lost for men and women.
“The high rates for adolescents and millennials could have a substantial health impact for decades to come,” Trent Haywood, M.D., J.D., the senior vice president and chief medical officer for the BCBS Association, said in a statement. “Further education and research is needed to identify methods for both physicians and patients to effectively treat major depression and begin a path to recovery and better overall health.”