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Depression is the Leading Cause of Disability Worldwide
April 7, 2017   

On March 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. According to the latest estimates from WHO, 322 million people are now living with depression.

The total estimated number of people living with depression has risen by 18.4% between 2005 and 2015. This increase reflects the overall growth of the global population, as well as a proportionate increase in the age groups at which depression is more prevalent, above 7.5% among females aged 55-74 years, and above 5.5% among males. Overall, depression is more common among females (5.1%) than males (3.6%).

The new estimates have been released in the lead-up to World Health Day on April 7th, the high point in WHO’s year-long campaign “Depression: let’s talk”. The WHO launched the campaign in October, 2016, to ensure that more people with depression, in all countries, both seek and get help. World Health Day is celebrated every year on the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization.

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References:

Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 310 diseases and injuries, 1990-2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Lancet. 2016;388(10053):1545-1602.

“Depression: let’s talk” says WHO, as depression tops list of causes of ill health. (2017, March 30). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/world-health-day/en/

World Health Organization. "Depression: Let’s Talk" Says WHO, As Depression Tops List Of Causes Of Ill Health.; 2017. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/world-health-day/en/. Accessed April 7, 2017.