By Stacy M. Brown | NNPA

(NNPA) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a thorough analysis that revealed significant variations in the prevalence of diagnosed depression among adults across various states.

The recently published report unveils intriguing findings, indicating that the proportion of US adults who have ever been diagnosed with depression varies considerably based on their geographical location.

According to the study, which analyzed data from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2020, approximately 18.4% of US adults reported having been diagnosed with depression at some point.

However, the percentage of adults reporting depression varied substantially from state to state, ranging from an estimated 12.7% in Hawaii to 27.5% in West Virginia.

Researchers from the CDC and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education in Tennessee noted in the report that there was a considerable geographic disparity in depression prevalence, with the highest rates observed along the Appalachian and southern Mississippi Valley regions.

Medical experts said the findings shed light on the urgent need for targeted resource allocation to areas where the prevalence of depression is most significant.

The research team utilized survey responses from nearly 400,000 adults across all 50 states and Washington, DC, focusing on answers related to previous diagnoses of depressive disorders received from healthcare professionals.

The data highlighted the ten states with the highest prevalence of adults reporting a depression diagnosis: West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Vermont, Alabama, Louisiana, Washington, Missouri, and Montana.

Further analysis at the county level revealed an even more comprehensive range of prevalence, with depression rates ranging from 10.7% in Alaska’s Aleutians East Borough County to 31.9% in Logan County, West Virginia.

In addition to geographical disparities, the study also found notable variations in depression prevalence based on gender and age.

The overall prevalence among women was 24%, compared to 13.3% among men. Younger adults aged 18 to 24 experienced a higher prevalence rate of 21.5%, while older adults aged 65 and above had a rate of 14.2%.

The study also highlighted higher depression rates among white adults and individuals with less than a high school education.

The most recent findings support a different Gallup report from May, which found a comparable national prevalence of depression among adults in the United States.

The Gallup report indicated that approximately 18% of adults reported being depressed or receiving treatment for depression, representing a significant increase of over seven percentage points since 2015.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health cannot be overlooked, as it has undeniably contributed to the rise in clinical depression rates, health officials said.

The Gallup data demonstrated a notable escalation in depression rates over recent years, aligning with the overall upward trend observed in the US., officials stated.

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