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QuickStats: Percentage* of Adults Aged ≥20 Years Reporting Depressive Symptoms in the Past 2 Weeks, by Sex — National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, United States, 2013–2016


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The figure above is a bar graph showing that during 2013–2016, 76.3% of adults aged ≥20 years had no or minimal depressive symptoms, 15.6% had mild symptoms, 5.1% had moderate symptoms, and 2.9% had severe depressive symptoms. A lower percentage of women than men had no or minimal depressive symptoms (71.3% versus 81.6%), but a higher percentage of women than men had mild (18.3% versus 12.8%), moderate (6.7% versus 3.4%), or severe (3.7% versus 2.1%) symptoms.

* With 95% confidence intervals indicated with error bars.

Depression symptom categories were determined based on responses to the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) screening instrument. For questions about frequency of symptoms, the response categories, “not at all,” “several days,” “more than half the days,” and “nearly every day,” were scored as 0 to 3 with a total score of 0 to 27. Depression scores have been categorized as the following: 0–4 as none or minimal depression, 5–9 as mild, 10–14 as moderate, 15–19 as moderately severe, and 20–27 as severe. For this analysis, scores of ≥15 were termed “severe” depressive symptoms.

During 2013–2016, 76.3% of adults aged ≥20 years had no or minimal depressive symptoms, 15.6% had mild symptoms, 5.1% had moderate symptoms, and 2.9% had severe depressive symptoms. A lower percentage of women than men had no or minimal depressive symptoms (71.3% versus 81.6%), but a higher percentage of women than men had mild (18.3% versus 12.8%), moderate (6.7% versus 3.4%), or severe (3.7% versus 2.1%) symptoms.

Source: NCHS Data Brief No. 303. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db303.pdf.

Reported by: Debra J. Brody, MPH, dbrody@cdc.gov, 301-458-4116; Jeffery P. Hughes, MPH; Amy E. Seitz, PhD, MPH.

Suggested citation for this article: QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Aged ≥20 Years Reporting Depressive Symptoms in the Past 2 Weeks, by Sex — National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, United States, 2013–2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:287. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6709a5.

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