Over the last five years, the diagnoses of major depression or clinical depression have jumped 47% among Millennials. Experts expect depression to become the top cause for a shorter life by 2030.
Overall, the number of cases of depression jumped 33% between 2013 and 2018, according to a report from Blue Cross Blue Shield, one of the nation’s biggest health insurers.
The report was based on the insurance claims of Blue Cross’ 41 million members. The company deemed the condition the “second most impactful condition” for insured Americans after high blood pressure.
People living with depression also develop a series of health issues including substance abuse, eating disorders, and chronic illnesses. These people usually need more health care and the conditions get worse over time if they are left untreated.
Blue Cross’ chief medical officer, Trent Haywood, noted that depression can slash 9.7 years of life expectancy in both men and women.
Teen Girls’ Depression Rates Are 65% Higher
More depression cases have been reported for every age group, but the most affected are the younger population. In just five years, depression rates jumped 65% among teen girls, and 47% among Millennials and teen boys. Women are more likely to develop the condition than men, the report shows.
Some U.S. states are more likely to have high depression rates than others. Depression rates in Utah, Rhode Island, and Minnesota currently stand at 6%. In Hawaii, only 2% of the population has been diagnosed with major depression. Yet the differences may be caused by different screening methods and socioeconomic discrepancies across the said states.
It is worth noting that these alarming numbers refer only to the privately insured population. Among the general population, the situation could be much worse, researchers warn.
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