Diagnosed cases of depression rose by almost 50% over the last decade in LA County. Is the traffic, smog, isolation, lack of health care and jobs to blame? We don’t know what accounted for the sharp increase, but a new study by the LA County Department of Public Health showed that cases of depression rose from 9 percent in 1999 to 14 percent in 2007. The study didn’t account for undiagnosed cases of depression—which may make the actual number of people suffering from depression much higher. The study spotlighted one glaring fact: “women consistently reported higher rates of depression than men.” 11 percent of the women surveyed were diagnosed with depression in 1999, in 2007 that number rose to 17 percent. Are people finding life a little less tolerable in Los Angeles, or is it just being reported more?
Jonathan Fielding, director LA County of Public Health
Andrew Cook, professor of psychiatry and director of the Laboratory of Brain, Behavior, and Pharmacology at UCLA
John Pryor, director of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program at UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute