Prevalence, Treatment, and Control of Depressive Symptoms in the United States: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2005–2008

Ruth S. Shim, MD, MPH; Peter Baltrus, PhD; Jiali Ye, PhD; George Rust, MD, MPH


J Am Board Fam Med. 2011;24(1):33-38. 

In This Article


Despite these limitations, these nationally representative data provide a cross-sectional US population estimate of the prevalence of mild, moderate, moderately severe, and severe depressive symptoms. They also demonstrate that a substantial proportion of persons with symptoms of depression in the United States remain untreated or undertreated. The burden of illness represented by depression care, as well as new evidence suggesting that care and outcomes systematically can be improved, suggest important opportunities for optimizing the treatment of depression in primary care and community health settings as a means of improving overall population health.


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