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Z Kinder Jugendpsychiatr Psychother. 2012 Nov;40(6):399-404. doi: 10.1024/1422-4917/a000199.

Prevalence and comorbidities of adolescent depression in Germany. An analysis of Health Insurance Data.

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  • 1Centre for Social Policy Research, University of Bremen, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Data on the prevalence of depressive disorders in adolescents are scarce. We aimed to examine the administrative prevalence of depressive disorders and related comorbidities in German adolescents. A second objective of was to assess potential regional (East vs. West Germany) differences in depression prevalence.

METHOD:

Data of a statutory health insurance company were analysed and outpatients from 12 to 18 years of age with diagnosed depression during a one-year-period (2009) were identified.

RESULTS:

The population at risk consisted of 140,563 adolescents. Of these, 4,295 (41.2% male; mean age: 15.5 years) had a diagnosis of depression. This equates to a prevalence of 3.1% (females: 3.7%, males: 2.5%). There were no significant differences between East and West Germany. Of all adolescents with depression, 62.5% had at least one comorbid psychiatric diagnosis, with anxiety and emotional disorders (23.7%), somatoform disorders (16.8%), hyperkinetic disorders (16.2%) and posttraumatic stress disorder (10.0%) being most frequently diagnosed.

CONCLUSIONS:

The depression prevalence in this sample was lower than that in studies of clinical samples. There was a marked prevalence of psychiatric comorbidities, especially of internalizing disorders. In adolescents, the risk of depression seems to be comparable in both East and West Germany.

PMID:
23109128
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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