The British Journal of Psychiatry

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Abstract

Background The initial Global Burden of Disease study found that depression was the fourth leading cause of disease burden, accounting for 3.7% of total disability adjusted life years (DALYs) in the world in 1990.

Aims To presentthe new estimates of depression burden for the year 2000.

Method DALYs for depressive disorders in each world region were calculated, based on new estimates of mortality, prevalence, incidence, average age at onset, duration and disability severity.

Results Depression is the fourth leading cause of disease burden, accounting for 4.4% of total DALYs in the year 2000, and it causes the largest amount of non-fatal burden, accounting for almost 12% of all total years lived with disability worldwide.

Conclusions These data on the burden of depression worldwide represent a major public health problem that affects patients and society.

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