Are there gender and age differences in the global prevalence of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Aug 06, 2020
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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The Stirling County Study, which began shortly after World War II, offered a 40-year perspective of the prevalence and incidence of psychiatric disorders in an adult population in Atlantic Canada, in which the overall prevalence of depression remained stable at 5% across 3 separate samples in 1952, 1970, and 1992. In the 2000 sample, however, the prevalence had shifted from older to younger persons, and the female-to-male ratio had increased. [50]

Copeland et al found widely ranging prevalences for depression in elderly persons in 9 European populations. The prevalence for females was higher than that for males, and there was no constant association between prevalence and age. Meta-analysis revealed an overall prevalence of 12.3% and frequencies of 14.1% for females and 8.6% for males. [51]

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