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Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 1516-4446

Abstract

COELHO, Cassiano L.S. et al. Higher prevalence of major depressive symptoms in Brazilians aged 14 and older. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2013, vol.35, n.2, pp.142-149. ISSN 1516-4446.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1516-4446-2012-0875.

Objective:

Depression is a highly prevalent condition and is considered a major public health issue. The aim of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of depressive symptoms in the Brazilian population and establish their sociodemographic correlates.

Method:

A cross-sectional study was conducted between November 2005 and April 2006. Data were collected in face-to-face interviews using a standardized questionnaire. The sample consisted of 3,007 interviews with individuals aged 14 years and older and followed a probabilistic design covering the Brazilian national territory. Depressive symptoms were assessed according to the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale.

Results:

The observed prevalence of depressive symptoms was 28.3% (13% mild/moderate; 15.3% major/severe; p < 0.01). Increased depressive symptom rates were associated with being a female, being 45 years of age and older, having lower educational attainment, being single, having family income of up to 2.5 times minimum wage, and living in the northern region of Brazil (p < 0.05).

Conclusions:

The prevalence of depressive symptoms in Brazil is high, with major depressive symptoms being the most frequent form of this symptomatology. Considering the biopsychosocial model of mental disorders, this survey points to the involvement of psychosocial factors in the prevalence of depressive symptoms in Brazil.

Keywords : Mood disorders; unipolar; community mental health; epidemiology; statistics; other research areas.

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