WebMD Medical News
Laura J. Martin, MD
Oct. 19, 2011 -- About 11% of Americans aged 12 or older take antidepressants, including many who have not seen a mental health professional in the past year, according to a new federal report.
The report by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics also says that the rate of antidepressant use in the U.S. has increased nearly 400% since 1988.
Among key findings in the study:
More than a third of females and less than a fifth of males with moderate symptoms of depression take medications to treat their mood problems, according to the report.
Females are 2.5 times more likely than males to take antidepressants, but there is no difference by sex in rates of use of antidepressants among people between 12 and 17.
The study shows that 23% of women between 40 and 59 take antidepressants, more than in any other age-sex group. Males and females aged 40 and over are more likely than younger people to take antidepressants.
The researchers say it is important for people who have depressive symptoms to be treated, and emphasis needs to be placed on increasing treatment rates among adults and children.
SOURCE:CDC: "NCHS Data Brief, No. 76," October 2011.
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