Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Disparities Exist in Depression Diagnosis, Care

Significant racial and ethnic disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of depression exist among community-dwelling elderly people, according to a study in the February American Journal of Public Health. Researchers from Rutgers University and Columbia University analyzed Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey data for 33, 708 people covering 2001 through 2005 to estimate the association of race or ethnicity with the likelihood of being diagnosed and treated for depression.

Depression diagnosis rates were 6.4 percent for non-Hispanic whites, 4.2 percent for African Americans, 7.2 percent for Hispanics, and 3.8 percent for others. “Vigorous clinical and public-health initiatives are needed to address this persisting disparity in care,” wrote the authors.

For more on disparities in depression care in Psychiatric News, click here.

(Image: Oleg


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