U.S. adults spent an average of three days a month feeling "sad, blue, or depressed", during 1995-2000, according to a study published today in Health and Quality of Life Outcomes.
"People who reported a higher number of sad, blue or depressed days also reported engaging in unhealthy behaviours such as cigarette smoking and physical inactivity," write the authors of the study. "Although most people who report depressive symptoms several days each month probably do not have a diagnosable mental disorder, those above a certain threshold of sad, blue or depressed days might be at increased risk for mental and physical illnesses," they say.
Rosemarie Kobau and her colleagues from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta analysed 166,000 responses to the question "During the past 30 days, for about how many days have you felt sad, blue, or depressed?" that was asked in an annual telephone survey of the American adult population in 38 states.
Gemma Bradley | BioMed Central
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