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Prevalence and Treatment of Depression In Canada



sharma-obesity-mental-health1Depression can be a significant factor both in the development of obesity and as an important barrier to its treatment.

Now a paper by Sabrina Wong and colleagues from the University of British Columbia, in a paper published in CMAJ open, present data on the prevalence and treatment of depression in Canadian primary care practices.

The authors analysed electronic medical record data from the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network, of over 300,000 patients who had at least one encounter with their primary care provider between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2012.

Of these, 14% had a diagnosis of depression.

Women with a BMI greater than 30 were about 20% more likely to also have depression than women with a BMI below 25. No such relationship was noted in men.

Overall, 25% of individuals with a diagnosis of depression also had at least one other chronic condition as well as about 50% more doctor visits than individuals without depression.

Clearly, depression is a common problem in primary care and weight management in patients (particularly women) presenting with this problem needs to be addressed (not least because many of the medications often used to manage depression may well be part of the problem).

@DrSharma
Edmonton, AB

2 Comments

  1. This should actually read, “women with a BMI greater than 30 were about 20% more likely to also have BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH depression than women with a BMI below 25.” Because of the nature of this study, we do not know whether the true prevalence of depression is higher in women with higher BMI than in women with lower BMI, or whether women with higher BMI are more likely to receive a diagnosis of depression. Either is plausible.

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  2. Dear Dr. Sharma, thanks for the useful read. These statistics pretty much tell it all – depression is probably the plague of the 21st century. So sad!

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