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Global depression burden grows

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Depression is a huge and growing cause of disability throughout the world, according to researchers in Australia.

Alize J. Ferrari, of the University of Queensland, and colleagues used data from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 survey to look at the effects of clinical depression and dysthymia — a chronic, relatively mild form of depression — on death and disability.

The researchers report, in an article in PLOS Medicine, that major depressive disorder accounted for 8.2 percent of global years lived with disability (YLD) in 2010, making it the second leading cause of burden worldwide.

The total burden grew about 38 percent between 1990 and 2010 due to population growth and an increase in the average age of the world’s population, the researchers estimate.

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