About 9 percent of young people aged 12 through 17, and 7.6 percent of all
adults experienced an episode of major depression over the preceding year,
according to data released in June by the federal government's Substance Abuse
and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Combined data from the organization's new state-by-state analysis of the
2004 and 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed that among
young people, rates of past-year major depressive episodes were the highest in
Idaho (10.4 percent) and Nevada (10.3 percent).
The lowest rates were reported among young people living in Louisiana (7.2
percent) and South Dakota (7.4 percent).
The NSDUH is a nationally representative annual survey sponsored by SAMHSA
and conducted among almost 70,000 people in their homes each year. It collects
informationon the prevalence of substance use in the population, perceptions
of risks related to substance use, patterns of use, mental illness, and
For this recent analysis, researchers combined data on the prevalence rates
of depression from the 2004 and 2005 surveys to increase the statistical power
behind the numbers.
A major depressive episode was defined as having a period of two weeks or
longer during which there was either depressed mood or loss of interest or
pleasure in activities previously enjoyed and at least four other symptoms
that reflect changes in functioning, such as problems with sleep, eating,
energy level, concentration, and self-image.
According to the survey data, rates of past-year major depressive episodes
for adults were among the highest in Utah and Rhode Island (about 10 percent
each), while Hawaii and New Jersey had the lowest rates (6.7 percent and 6.8
The survey did not investigate possible reasons for variation in depression
rates among the states.
In a statement accompanying release of the data, SAMHSA Administrator Terry
Cline, Ph.D., said that the data will supplement the information that state
mental health officials and policymakers will use to decide how to allocate
resources available to fund mental health services.
More information about the State Estimates of Depression: 2004 and
2005 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health is posted at<oas.samhsa.gov/2k7/states/depression.cfm>.▪