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Many Americans Not Being Assessed for Depression

Men, people aged 75 and older, minorities, and uninsured are less likely to be screened

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WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Many Americans aged 35 and older are not being assessed for depression, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Elisabeth Kato, M.D., from the Agedncy for Healthcare Research and Quality in Rockville, Md., and colleagues used a nationally representative survey to evaluate whether adults aged 35+ were being assessed for depression by their health care providers in 2014 and 2015. The health and sociodemographic characteristics of patients associated with depression assessment were examined.

The researchers found that 48.6 percent of U.S adults aged 35+ were being assessed for depression. The likelihood of being assessed was lower for men versus women, adults 75+ versus adults aged 50 to 64 years, uninsured versus those with private insurance, and adults without recognized depressive symptoms versus those with recognized symptoms (odds ratios, 0.58, 0.47, 0.30, and 0.39, respectively). The likelihood of being assessed was lower for Asians, Hispanics, and African-Americans versus non-Hispanic whites (odds ratios, 0.35, 0.47, and 0.42, respectively).

"Additional efforts are needed to determine methods to increase screening recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and to ensure that all Americans have their mental health needs met," the authors write.

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