Antidepressant utilization can be used as an indicator of appropriate treatment for major depression. The objective of this study was to characterize antidepressant utilization in Canada, including the relationships of antidepressant use with sociodemographic variables, past-year and lifetime depression, number of past depressive episodes, and other possible indications for antidepressants.
We examined data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) Cycle 1.2. The CCHS was a nationally representative mental health survey (N=36,984) conducted in 2002 that included a diagnostic instrument for past-year and lifetime major depressive episodes and other psychiatric disorders and a record of past-year antidepressant use.
Overall, 5.8% of Canadians were taking antidepressants, higher than the annual prevalence of major depressive episode (4.8%) in the survey. Among persons with a past-year major depressive episode, the frequency of antidepressant use was 40.4%. After application of adjustments for probable successful outcomes of treatment, the estimated frequency of antidepressant use for major depression was more than 50%. Frequency of antidepressant treatment among those with a history of depression but without a past-year episode increased with the number of previous episodes. Among those taking antidepressants over the past year, only 33.1% had had a past-year episode of major depression. Migraine, fibromyalgia, anxiety disorder, or past depression was present in more than 60% of those taking antidepressants without a past-year episode of depression.
The CCHS results suggest that antidepressant use has increased substantially since the early 1990s, and also that these medications are employed extensively for indications other than depression.
Structured diagnostic inter- views include items that evaluate physical etiologies for mood and anxiety disorders. The objective of this article was to assess the impact of such items.
A mental health survey in Canada collected data from n = 36,984 household residents. The lifetime prevalence of mood and anxiety disorders was calculated with and without exclusions due to physical causes.
Approximately 10% of subjects with a lifetime depressive disorder reported that all of their episodes were due to one or more physical cause. Many of the reported etiologies were implausible given the DSM-IV requirement that the disturbance be a "direct physiological consequence" of the physical cause. The results were similar for manic episodes and anxiety disorders.
Structured diagnostic interviews assess physical etiologies in ways that are subject to inconsistency and inaccuracy. Physical etiology items may bias estimates by introducing etiological opinions into the assessment of disorder frequency.
To estimate (1) the prevalence of long-term medical conditions and of comorbid major depression, and (2) the associations between major depression and various chronic medical conditions in a general population of older adults (over 50 years of age) and in persons who are traditionally classified as seniors (65 years and older).
Data from the Canadian Community Health Survey- Mental Health and Wellbeing (CCHS-1.2) were analyzed. Non-institutionalized individuals over 15 years of age in the 10 Canadian provinces were sampled in the CCHS-1.2. The entire sample of the CCHS-1.2 consisted of 36,894 individuals, for the main analyses in this study the dataset was restricted to those aged 50 and over (n=15,591). Chronic health conditions were assessed using a self-report method of doctor diagnosis. The World Mental Health-Composite Diagnostic Interview was used to asses major depressive episodes based on DSM-IV criteria.
The overall prevalence of having at least one chronic condition in those over 50 years of age was 82.4%, compared to 62.0% in those under 50. The prevalence of a major depressive episode in those over 50 with one chronic condition was 3.7%, compared with 1.0% in those without a long-term medical condition. The top 3 chronic health conditions in seniors aged 65 or older were arthritis/rheumatism, high blood pressure and back problems. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia and migraine headache had the highest comorbidity with major depression in the senior population.
The use of self-report data on chronic health conditions, potential diagnostic overlap between conditions, and the inability to make causal inferences due to the cross-sectional nature of the data are all limitations of the current study.
Differences were found between rates of chronic conditions and major depression between the general population, older adults and seniors in this study. Further research is needed to delineate the direction of these relationships in seniors. Primary and secondary prevention efforts should target seniors who exhibit symptoms of depression or highly prevalent chronic health conditions.
Only a few population-based studies have examined prevalence of mental disorder in people with chronic respiratory conditions. Clinical studies have yielded mixed results. In this analysis, data from the 2002 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) were used. This was a national health survey that included administration of the World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interview to a sample of 36,984 subjects. Participants were asked about chronic medical conditions that had been diagnosed by a health professional. Chronic respiratory conditions were associated with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, panic disorder (including agoraphobia), social phobia, and substance dependence. Although the observed associations were statistically highly significant, the prevalence estimates were lower than previous reports from studies using clinical samples, suggesting that selection bias may have influenced some estimates.
In the Canadian adult population, we aimed to 1) estimate the 12-month prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) in persons with a diagnosis of harmful alcohol use, alcohol dependence, and drug dependence; 2) estimate the 12-month prevalence of harmful alcohol use, alcohol dependence, and drug dependence in persons with a 12-month and lifetime diagnosis of MDD; 3) identify socioeconomic correlates of substance use disorder-major depression comorbidity; 4) determine how comorbidity impacts the prevalence of suicidal thoughts; and 5) determine how comorbidity affects mental health care used.
We examined data from the Canadian Community Health Survey: Mental Health and Well-Being (CCHS 1.2).
The 12-month prevalences of MDD in persons with a substance use disorder (SUD) were 6.9% for harmful alcohol use (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.2 to 8.5), 8.8% for alcohol dependence (95%CI, 6.6 to 11.0), and 16.1% for drug dependence (95%CI, 10.3 to 21.9). Conversely, the 12-month prevalences of harmful alcohol use, alcohol dependence, and drug dependence in persons with a 12-month diagnosis of MDD were 12.3% (95%CI, 9.4 to 15.2), 5.8% (95%CI, 4.3 to 7.3), and 3.2% (95%CI, 2.0 to 4.4), respectively. Regression modelling did not identify any socioeconomic predictors of SUD-MDD comorbidity. Substance dependence and MDD independently predicted higher prevalence of suicidal thoughts and mental health treatment use.
SUDs cooccur with a high frequency in cases of MDD. Clinicians and mental health services should consider routine assessment of SUDs in depression patients.
Preference-weighted HRQoL (utility) ratings are increasingly used to guide clinical and resource allocation decisions, but their performance has not always been adequately explored. We sought to examine patterns of health utility ratings in community populations with depressive disorders and painful conditions.
We used two Canadian cross-sectional health surveys that obtained Comprehensive Health Status Measurement System/Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (HUI3) ratings and identified people with painful conditions and major depression. We estimated the frequency of item endorsements and mean utility ratings in these groups.
Interesting differences between health state ratings and diagnostic categories were noted. For example, 71% of those professionally diagnosed with migraine reported that they usually have "no pain." Despite this, utility ratings were lower in those respondents with depressive episodes and in those with painful conditions. Greater than additive reductions in HUI3 scores were noted in most instances where both depressive disorders and painful conditions were present.
Health utility ratings confirm the clinical impression that painful conditions and depressive disorders magnify each other's impact. Despite weak alignment between the health state definitions incorporated into utility ratings and the diagnostic concepts examined, the HUI3 appeared to capture HRQoL decrements and negative synergies associated with the co-occurrence of depressive episodes and painful conditions.
Child hunger represents an adverse experience that could contribute to mental health problems in later life. The objectives of this study were to: (1) examine the long-term effects of the reported experience of child hunger on late adolescence and young adult mental health outcomes; and (2) model the independent contribution of the child hunger experience to these long-term mental health outcomes in consideration of other experiences of child disadvantage.
Using logistic regression, we analyzed data from the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth covering 1994 through 2008/2009, with data on hunger and other exposures drawn from NLSCY Cycle 1 (1994) through Cycle 7 (2006/2007) and mental health data drawn from Cycle 8 (2008/2009). Our main mental health outcome was a composite measure of depression and suicidal ideation.
The prevalence of child hunger was 5.7% (95% CI 5.0-6.4). Child hunger was a robust predictor of depression and suicidal ideation [crude OR=2.9 (95% CI 1.4-5.8)] even after adjustment for potential confounding variables, OR=2.3 (95% CI 1.2-4.3).
A single question was used to assess child hunger, which itself is a rare extreme manifestation of food insecurity; thus, the spectrum of child food insecurity was not examined, and the rarity of hunger constrained statistical power.
Child hunger appears to be a modifiable risk factor for depression and related suicide ideation in late adolescence and early adulthood, therefore prevention through the detection of such children and remedy of their circumstances may be an avenue to improve adult mental health.
Comment In: Evid Based Med. 2014 Jun;19(3):11324361751
Clinical practice guidelines increasingly recognize the heterogeneity associated with major depressive episodes (MDE), e.g. through strategies such as watchful waiting. However, the implications of episode heterogeneity for long-term prognosis have not been adequately explored.
In this project, we used data from a Canadian longitudinal study to evaluate recurrence risks for MDE after an initial episode in the mid-1990s. This study collected data from a community cohort between 1994/1995 and 2008/2009 using biannual interviews. Characteristics of the index episode: syndromal versus sub-syndromal, duration of symptoms, and indicators of seriousness (activity restriction, high distress or suicidal ideation) were recorded. The ability of these variables to predict MDE recurrence was explored using proportional hazards modeling. Additional analyses using generalized estimating equations were used to assess robustness.
Even brief, sub-syndromal episodes not characterized by indicators of seriousness were associated with an increased risk of subsequent MDE. However, episodes meeting diagnostic criteria for MDE, those lasting longer than four weeks and those associated with indicators of seriousness were associated with much higher recurrence risk. Sub-syndromal episodes associated with these characteristics generally predicted subsequent MDE as strongly as the occurrence of MDE itself.
The data source did not include assessment of all potentially relevant covariates. The assessment of MDE used an abbreviated instrument.
Brief sub-syndromal episodes of depression are not usually targets of acute treatment, but such episodes have implications for subsequent MDE risk. Episode characteristics identify a range of outcomes that have potential implications for long-term management.
The Canadian Community Health Survey: Mental Health and Well-Being (CCHS 1.2) is the first national study to use a full version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. For this reason, and because of its large sample size, the CCHS 1.2 is capable of providing the best currently available description of major depression epidemiology in Canada. Using the CCHS 1.2 data, our study aimed to describe the epidemiology of major depression in Canada.
All estimates used appropriate sampling weights and bootstrap variance estimation procedures. The analysis consisted of estimating proportions supplemented by logistic regression modelling.
The lifetime prevalence of major depressive episode was 12.2%. Past-year episodes were reported by 4.8% of the sample; 1.8% reported an episode in the past 30 days. As expected, major depression was more common in women than in men, but the difference became smaller with advancing age. The peak annual prevalence occurred in the group aged 15 to 25 years. The prevalence of major depression was not related to level of education but was related to having a chronic medical condition, to unemployment, and to income. Married people had the lowest prevalence, but the effect of marital status changed with age. Logistic regression analysis suggested that the annual prevalence may increase with age in men who never married.
The prevalence of major depression in the CCHS 1.2 was slightly lower than that reported in the US and comparable to pan-European estimates. The pattern of association with demographic and clinical variables, however, is broadly similar. An increasing prevalence with age in single (never-married) men was an unexpected finding.
Psychiatric conditions are known to have a detrimental impact on functioning and may therefore influence patterns of disability associated with MS. Population-based studies are needed to evaluate such interactions. The objective of this study was to describe the pattern of interaction of MS and mental disorders on health-related impairments.
The Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS) was a post-censual survey conducted by Statistics Canada in association with the 2006 Canadian Census. PALS collected detailed data from a random sample of n = 28,640 respondents with health-related impairments reported on their census form. The PALS interview collected self-reported diagnostic data and included scales to assess functioning and participation in society.
PALS identified 245 individuals with MS, leading to an estimated (weighted) population prevalence of 0.2% (200 per 100,000), consistent with other Canadian estimates. As expected, impaired agility, vision, communication, mobility, pain, and memory were strongly associated with MS. Mental disorders were also associated with impairment, but interactions between these conditions and MS were generally not evident.
Mental disorders are associated with a higher level of disability in MS but, with the exception of communication, there was no evidence of synergistic interaction between mental disorders and MS in contributing to health-related impairments.