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Global burden of depressive disorders in the year 2000

  • T. B. Üstün (a1), J. L. Ayuso-Mateos (a2), S. Chatterji (a3), C. Mathers (a3) and C. J. L. Murray (a3)...
Abstract
Background

The initial Global Burden of Disease study found that depression was the fourth leading cause of disease burden, accounting for 3.7% of total disability adjusted life years (DALYs) in the world in 1990.

Aims

To present the new estimates of depression burden for the year 2000.

Method

DALYs for depressive disorders in each world region were calculated, based on new estimates of mortality, prevalence, incidence, average age at onset, duration and disability severity.

Results

Depression is the fourth leading cause of disease burden, accounting for 4.4% of total DALYs in the year 2000, and it causes the largest amount of non-fatal burden, accounting for almost 12% of all total years lived with disability worldwide.

Conclusions

These data on the burden of depression worldwide represent a major public health problem that affects patients and society.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
T. B. Üstün, Classification, Assessment, Surveys and Terminology Team, World Health Organization, Avenue Appia 20, CH-1211, Geneva 27, Switzerland. Tel: +41 22 7913609; fax: +41 22 7914885/4160; e-mail: ustunb@who.int
Footnotes
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See pp. 393–403 and editorial, pp. 379–380, this issue.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Global burden of depressive disorders in the year 2000

  • T. B. Üstün (a1), J. L. Ayuso-Mateos (a2), S. Chatterji (a3), C. Mathers (a3) and C. J. L. Murray (a3)...
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eLetters

Incidence estimates in Global burden of depressive disorders in the year 2000 by Ustun et el 2004

Senthil Amudhan Rajamoorthy, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Mental Health And Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India-560029
21 February 2017

Depression being the chronic disease with relatively less mortality, the prevalence estimates are expected to be higher when compared to Incidence estimates irrespective of whether it is a short or long interval studies. However, in Table 3: incidence estimates were uniformly higher when compared to prevalence estimates.

Globally all the available evidences on the incidence of depression has shown a lower rate when compared to prevalence of depression (Waraich et al 2004,Ferrari et al 2013)1,2 . The same can be observed in the difference between current and lifetime prevalence.

The possibilities of the observed variation in the Ustun study could be due to

1. Typographical error in the table 3 by mislabelling prevalence as incidence or vice verse

2. The epidemiological formula P= I X D, holds good only for rare diseases, the actual formula is P/(1-P)= IXD. By using P=IXD, there might be an overestimation of Incidence but not to the extent that it will be higher than prevalence especially for chronic disease like depression.

3. Only case where incidence might be overestimated erroneously could be when duration is less than one year and the formula is applied without converting to months for prevalence estimates.

Reference

1. Waraich P, Goldner EM, Somers JM, Hsu L. Prevalence and incidence studies of mood disorders: a systematic review of the literature. Can J Psychiatry 2004;49:124–138.

2. Ferrari AJ, Somerville AJ, Baxter AJ, Norman R, Patten SB, Vos T, et al. Global variation in the prevalence and incidence of major depressive disorder: a systematic review of the epidemiological literature. Psychol Med 2013;43:471–81.

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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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Possible erratum

Gavin W Stewart, Public Servant
26 May 2004

The following quoted ("") sections are cut/pasted from the PDF version of the paper:

Table 3 of the paper has the title:

"Table 3 Age-standardised incidence and prevalence rate estimates forunipolar depressive disorders inWorld Health Organization epidemiological subregions, 2000"

The headings are:

"Major depressive episodes (age standardised""Incidence/100 000/year Prevalence/100 000/year""Males Females Males Females"

The last row reads:

"World 3199 4930 1607 2552"

But the text says: "In the GBD 2000 the incidence estimates used werehigher (49 per 100 000 per year for women and 31 per 100 000 per year for men) ..."

There would seem to be an error here.
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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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