The Cost of Depression

The Cost of Depression

Depression costs the U.S. $43.7 billion a year in medical expenses and lost productivity, on a par with heart disease. About 17 million adult Americans suffer an incident of serious depression every year; of these, 66% never receive treatment; about 5 million experience major depression. Of those patients hospitalized after a stroke, 50% have depression and 90% are diagnosed as depressed 6 months later.

For patients suffering heart attacks, 15-20% experience depression afterwards; 30% of cancer patients have depression, as do 8.5%-27% of patients with diabetes; and 25% of those with major depression also have a substance abuse problem. An estimated 290 million working days are lost each year to depression, representing $11.7 billion in lost productivity. Meanwhile, annual U.S. sales of antidepressants amount to more than $3 billion.

SOURCES:

“Depression Travels in Disguise with Other Illness,”
Warren E. Leary, The New York Times, January 17, 1996
“Costs of Depression Are on a Par with Heart Disease, a Study Says,”
Daniel Goleman, The New York Times, December 3, 1993.