A new report by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association shows that depression has risen by 33 percent from 2013 to 2016, based on data from insurance claims made by 41 million customers.
The rise in depression has hit people of all ages.
Depression On The Rise
Blue Cross Blue Shield calls depression the second most impactful condition affecting insured Americans, putting it right behind high blood pressure. It is already being predicted to become the leading cause of loss of longevity or life by the year 2030.
In the report, depression diagnoses were found to be up for all demographic groups. Younger people have been affected more by the rise in depression. During the time, depression rose 63 percent among adolescents and 47 percent among millennials.
Breaking it down further, it increased 65 percent in adolescent girls and 47 percent in adolescent boys. This follows a trend that shows that women of all ages were twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression as men.
The rise in depression may be because of better screening and detection of depression. This can be seen in the numbers broken down by city and state. States like Utah, Rhode Island, and Maine have a rate around 6 percent among the population while states like Hawaii, Nevada, and Arizona have rates under 3.5 percent.
This report only covers Americans that are covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield across the U.S., which is just a fraction of the population.
Depression Linked With Other Conditions
People diagnosed with depression can often suffer from other health conditions. Blue Cross Blue Shield says that the data don't provide a full picture to show when people began to feel depressed and if the depression was a cause of other health conditions. It found that of the 9 million people diagnosed with depression, only 15 percent were diagnosed with only depression.
Eighty-five percent were diagnosed with depression along with one or more additional health conditions. Of those 85 percent, 21 percent were diagnosed with only one more health condition, 19 percent had two more health conditions, and 29 percent had four or more additional health conditions.
People who were diagnosed with depression were found to be twice as likely to suffer from one or more other chronic diseases than people without depression. They were also found to be three times as likely to suffer from pain-related disorders, and seven times as likely to suffer from alcohol or substance use disorders than people without depression.