Unemployment, strongest predictor of depression in U.S. adults

Updated Aug. 26, 2013 at 9:38 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- The strongest predictors of depression in U.S. adults are being unemployed, or working part-time while wanting to work full-time, a survey indicates.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index from Jan. 1-July Gallup asked 101,195 U.S. adults if they were diagnosed with depression and, if so, whether they currently had depression. Overall, 10 percent of U.S. adults said they were diagnosed with and currently have depression -- consistent with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's estimated depression rate.

Gallup's analysis looked at U.S. adults who currently have depression, while simultaneously controlling for 12 variables: age, gender, income, education, race and ethnicity, marital status, having children, region, employment status, obesity, having health insurance and being a caregiver.

This allowed Gallup to examine each factor independently to find out which was most strongly linked to depression.

However, being very young, older, black, Hispanic, male or those who earn at least $90,000 per year were less likely to have depression.

Those who earn less than $36,000 annually were nearly three times more likely to be depressed than those who earn more than $90,000 per year. Women were twice as likely as men to have depression, and whites were slightly more likely than blacks and Hispanics to be depressed.

The survey has a margin of error of 1 percentage points.

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