Hurricane aftermath brings on depression

Jan. 4, 2013 at 4:55 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- There was a 25 percent increase in depression diagnoses among residents in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, a survey indicates.

A Gallup Poll, released Friday, said clinical diagnoses of depression in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut ZIP codes most affected by the storm moved from 11.7 percent prior to the hurricane to 14.6 percent after, a 25 percent change.

It also noted depression diagnoses elsewhere in the three states rose 17 percent, compared to a 3 percent rise in the other 47 states.

The increases represent 540,000 new cases of depression in the hardest-hit areas and more than 160,000 new diagnoses in the less affected areas, the poll said.

The results were based on 6,414 interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index from Sept. 15 to Dec. 15 with adult residents of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York most affected by the weather event, as well as adult residents of the three states' other areas, and the remaining 47 states, before and after the hurricane. Margins of sampling error, respectively, are 2.1 percentage points, 2.4 percentage points and 0.5 percentage points.

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