Epidemiology, Burden, and Disability in Depression and Anxiety

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Studies of the prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders have shown that there is a high prevalence of comorbidity of these 2 disorders. The resulting disability and burden affect not only the individual in terms of decreased productivity, but the level of health care utilization is also increased. The objective of this article is to look at the epidemiology, disability, and global burden of depression and anxiety across the different nations of the world. This article will concentrate on the results from the Cross-National Collaborative Group. The transcultural trends in prevalence and disability presented here must be viewed in the light of the limitations of the study, such as methodology and population sampling, uniformity in the method of clinical assessment, and the collection and processing of data. New studies of depression and anxiety among different cultures are currently in progress in the form of the European Study of Epidemiology on Mental Disorders (ESEMeD), which is closely linked to the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health 2000 initiative. The methodology for ESEMeD is similar to that of the WHO World Mental Health 2000 study, which will facilitate comparisons between the results for Europe and the rest of the world. Results of these studies are awaited with anticipation.

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(suppl 13):4-10