322m now suffer from depression globally, says WHO

Lagos, Feb. 24, 2017 (TNE): The World Health Organisation (WHO), says 322 million people now suffer from depression, and demanded that greater attention be paid to high-risk groups.

The increase between 2005 and 2015 came about not only because the world’s overall population grew, but also because life expectancies rose, WHO said.

The risk of depressive disorders becomes greater in the later stages of life, it added.

The risk of becoming depressed is increased by poverty, unemployment, loss of a loved one, physical illness and substance abuse, the health body said.

While 5.1 per cent of females and 3.6 per cent of males are depressive on average, rates among the elderly
rise above 7.5 per cent for women and 5.5 per cent for men.

However, older people are not the only group that should receive greater attention, WHO said.

Action should also be taken with regard to the youth and for expectant women and new mothers, WHO said.

As social pressures on children grow, teachers and psychological counsellors should teach them life skills that will protect them from depression.

”The consequences of these disorders in terms of lost health are huge,”the WHO said in the report.

To measure the global burden of any disease, the WHO calculates the number of cases and the average duration of the condition.

Depression, it said, accounts for 7.5 per cent of global disability years – more than from any other disease.


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