10 September 2007
WHO: 'Depression worse for health than diabetes'
Depression debilitates sufferers more than diabetes, angina, arthiritis and asthma, according to a study conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Researchers from the WHO asked a sample of 245,000 people from 60 countries a number of questions to determine their health, lifestyle and how any illnesses they have impact on their working life.
In particular, participants were quizzed on how much sleep they get, whether they suffer an impaired concentration span and how.
The poll revealed that once conditions such as poverty and health are taken into account, depression impacts most deletriously on sufferers' health.
Furthermore, those with depression combined with another condition suffer worst of all, according to the WHO.
Dr Somnath Chatterji, who conducted the research, said: "The co-morbid state of depression incrementally worsens health compared with depression alone, with any of the chronic diseases alone, and with any combination of chronic diseases without depression.
"These results indicate the urgency of addressing depression as a public health priority to reduce disease burden and disability, and to improve the overall health of populations."