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Depression Has Spiked By 33% In the Last Five Years, a New Report Says

Jamie Ducharme | TIME
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Diagnoses of clinical depression — also known as major depression — have risen by 33% since 2013, according to a new report from health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The report, which was based on insurance claims filed by 41 million privately insured Blue Cross Blue Shield members, calls depression the “second most impactful condition on overall health for commercially insured Americans,” behind only high blood pressure. That’s because people with depression also tend to have other health issues, such as chronic illnesses and substance abuse, and as a result may have more significant health care needs and experience worse health outcomes over time.

“Some of the literature is already starting to predict that by 2030, depression will be the number-one cause for loss of longevity or life,” says Dr. Trent Haywood, chief medical officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Women and men with depression may on average lose up to 9.7 years of healthy life, the report says.

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