The British Journal of Psychiatry
Cost of depression among adults in England in 2000
Christine M. Thomas, Stephen Morris


Background The cost of depression in the UK was estimated at £ 3.5 billion almost a decade ago. The shift to community-based management for depression alongside the availability of more accurate data have allowed these estimates to be revised.

Aims To calculate the total cost of depression in adults in England during 2000.

Method Recorded data on health service use by patients with depression were analysed and the cost of treating patients was calculated. The cost of working life lost was estimated from sickness benefit claims and the number of registered deaths of patients with depression.

Results The total cost of adult depression was estimated at over £ 9 billion, of which £370 million represents direct treatment costs. There were 109.7 million working days lost and 2615 deaths due to depression in 2000.

Conclusions Despite awareness campaigns and the availability of effective treatments, depression remains a considerable burden on both society and the individual, especially in terms of incapacity to work.

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