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Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2007 Feb;42(2):110-6. Epub 2007 Jan 17.

Economic costs of depression in China.

Author information

1
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. thu@berkeley.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A recent survey in China indicated the 12-month prevalence rate of depressive disorders was 2.5% in Beijing and 1.7% in Shanghai. These disorders may result in disability, premature death, and severe suffering of those affected and their families.

AIMS:

This study estimates the economic consequences of depressive disorders in China.

METHODS:

Depressive disorders can have both direct and indirect costs. To obtain direct costs, the research team interviewed 505 patients with depressive disorders and their caregivers in eight clinics/hospitals in five cities in China. Depression-related suicide rates were obtained from published literature. The human capital approach was used to estimate indirect costs. Epidemiological data were taken from available literature.

RESULTS:

The total estimated cost of depression in China is 51,370 million Renminbi (RMB) (or US $6,264 million) at 2002 prices. Direct costs were 8,090 million RMB (or US$ 986 million), about 16% of the total cost of depression. Indirect costs were 43,280 million RMB (or US$ 5,278 million), about 84% of the total cost of depression.

CONCLUSIONS:

Depression is a very costly disorder in China. The application of an effective treatment--reducing the length of depressive episodes (or preventing episodes) and reducing suicide rates--will lead to a significant reduction in the total burden resulting from depressive disorders. Government policymakers should seriously consider further investments in mental health services.

PMID:
17235441
DOI:
10.1007/s00127-006-0151-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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