Study Shows Increase in Major Depression Diagnoses

Major depression diagnoses are on the rise, according to a study of medical claims by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

According to the study titled, Major Depression: The Impact on Overall Health, diagnosis rates increased by 33 percent between 2013 and 2016, and climbed fastest among adolescents and millennials.

“The high rates for adolescents and millennials could have a substantial health impact for decades to come,” said Trent Haywood, senior vice president and chief medical officer for BCBSA. “Further education and research is needed to identify methods for both physicians and patients to effectively treat major depression and begin a path to recovery and better overall health.”

It’s the first time analysts with the BCBSA used medical claims to measure the rate of depression diagnosis, according to Robert Elfinger, spokesperson for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

The reason? According to Elfinger, major depression has a big impact on other conditions.

The study found that chronic conditions are strongly linked to major depression, as 85 percent of people who are diagnosed with major depression also have one or more serious chronic health conditions. Nearly 30 percent of these members have four or more other health conditions.

Elfinger said healthcare leaders with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association hope to use the data to raise awareness in local medical communities to better serve patients.

For more information about the report, click here. 


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Mitti Hicks

About Mitti Hicks

Mitti Hicks is a multimedia journalist and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She is passionate about telling stories that impact our community and may be reached at and on Twitter @mittimegan.


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