Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates

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World Health Organization

Reliable, up-to-date estimates of the proportion of a general population affected by different diseases or health conditions is a key ingredient of effective health policy, planning and evaluation. This booklet provides latest available estimates of the prevalence of depression and other common mental disorders at the global and regional level, together with data concerning the consequences of these disorders in terms of lost health.

Globally, the total number of people with depression was estimated to exceed 300 million in 2015. Nearly that number again suffers from a range of anxiety disorders. Since many people experience both conditions simultaneously (comorbidity), it is inappropriate to simply add these two figures together to arrive at a total for common mental disorders. The consequences of these disorders in terms of lost health are huge. Depression is ranked by WHO as the single largest contributor to global disability (7.5% of all years lived with disability in 2015); anxiety disorders are ranked 6th (3.4%). Depression is also the major contributor to suicide deaths, which number close to 800 000 per year.


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WHO-MSD-MER-2017.2-eng.pdf2.21 MB