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QuickStats: Percentage of Persons Aged >12 Years with Depression,* by Race/Ethnicity and Poverty Status -- National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, United States, 2005 -- 2006

During 20052006, overall, non-Hispanic blacks had higher rates of depression (8.0%) than non-Hispanic whites (4.8%). Among persons living below the poverty level, non-Hispanic whites had higher rates of depression (18.0%) than Mexican-Americans (7.6%). Non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites living below the poverty level had higher rates of depression than those with higher incomes, whereas rates of depression in Mexican-Americans did not vary by poverty status.

* Depression was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), a nine-item screening instrument that asks questions about the frequency of symptoms of depression during the preceding 2 weeks. Response categories "not at all," "several days," "more than half the days," and "nearly every day" were given a score ranging from 0 to 3. Depression was defined as a total score of 10 or higher on the PHQ-9. This cut point has been well validated and is commonly used in clinical studies that measure depression with the PHQ-9.

Poverty status was defined using the poverty income ratio (PIR), an index calculated by dividing the family income by a poverty threshold that is based on the size of the family. A PIR of less than 1 was used as the cut point for below the poverty level.

§ 95% confidence interval.

During 2005 -- 2006, overall, non-Hispanic blacks had higher rates of depression (8.0%) than non-Hispanic whites (4.8%). Among persons living below the poverty level, non-Hispanic whites had higher rates of depression (18.0%) than Mexican-Americans (7.6%). Non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites living below the poverty level had higher rates of depression than those with higher incomes, whereas rates of depression in Mexican-Americans did not vary by poverty status.

SOURCES: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, 2005 -- 2006. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes.htm.

Pratt LA, Brody DJ. Depression in the United States household population, 2005 -- 2006. NCHS data brief no. 7. Hyattsville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, National Center for Health Statistics; 2008. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db07.htm.



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