Author(s): Poongothai S, Pradeepa R, Ganesan A, Mohan V
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Abstract BACKGROUND: In India there are very few population based data on prevalence of depression. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of depression in an urban south Indian population. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Subjects were recruited from the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study (CURES), involving 26,001 subjects randomly recruited from 46 of the 155 corporation wards of Chennai (formerly Madras) city in South India. 25,455 subjects participated in this study (response rate 97.9\%). Depression was assessed using a self-reported and previously validated instrument, the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) - 12. Age adjustment was made according to the 2001 census of India. The overall prevalence of depression was 15.1\% (age-adjusted, 15.9\%) and was higher in females (females 16.3\% vs. males 13.9\%, p<0.0001). The odds ratio (OR) for depression in female subjects was 1.20 [Confidence Intervals (CI): 1.12-1.28, p<0.001] compared to male subjects. Depressed mood was the most common symptom (30.8\%), followed by tiredness (30.0\%) while more severe symptoms such as suicidal thoughts (12.4\%) and speech and motor retardation (12.4\%) were less common. There was an increasing trend in the prevalence of depression with age among both female (p<0.001) and male subjects (p<0.001). The prevalence of depression was higher in the low income group (19.3\%) compared to the higher income group (5.9\%, p<0.001). Prevalence of depression was also higher among divorced (26.5\%) and widowed (20\%) compared to currently married subjects (15.4\%, p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: This is the largest population-based study from India to report on prevalence of depression and shows that among urban south Indians, the prevalence of depression was 15.1\%. Age, female gender and lower socio-economic status are some of the factors associated with depression in this population.
This article was published in PLoS One
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