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Nord J Psychiatry. 2014 Oct;68(7):507-12. doi: 10.3109/08039488.2013.877074. Epub 2014 Jan 29.

Prevalence of depression, quality of life and antidepressant treatment in the Danish General Suburban Population Study.

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Christina Ellervik, M.D., Chief Physician, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Naestved University Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital , and Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen , Denmark.



The Danish General Suburban Population Study (GESUS), the objective of which is to facilitate epidemiological and genetic research, has included the Major Depression Inventory (MDI) and the WHO-Five Well-Being Index (WHO-5) among the medical health questionnaires. We were thus in a position to compare the 2-week prevalence of ICD-10 depression in the period from 2010 to 2012 with our previous Danish general population study from 2003, in which the MDI was also included.


The aim of our analysis was not only to evaluate the point prevalence of ICD-10 depression but also to describe the prevalence of antidepressants received by the respondents in the GESUS study and the correspondence to their subjective well-being on the WHO-5 questionnaire.


To evaluate the validity (scalability) of the MDI and the WHO-5 in the GESUS study we performed the non-parametric Mokken analysis. The scalability of the MDI and the WHO-5 was quite acceptable.


In total, 14,787 respondents were available from a response rate of 50%. The 2-week prevalence of ICD-10 depression was 2.3%, which is rather similar to the 2.8% in our 2003 study. The rate of people receiving antidepressants increased consistently with increasing severity of ICD-10 depression.


This study has confirmed that the use of the MDI to obtain an ICD-10 depression diagnosis gives rather conservative estimates of the 2-week prevalence of depression in the Danish general population. The prescription of antidepressants depends on the severity of the ICD-10 depression diagnosis.


Depressive illness; Major Depression Inventory; WHO-5

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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