NEW YORK, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- More than 10 percent of Americans took antidepressants in 2005 -- double the rate from 1996, U.S. researchers found.
Dr. Mark Olfson of Columbia University Medical Center and New York State Psychiatric Institute, and Steven C. Marcus of the University of Pennsylvania, analyzed data from the 1996 and 2005 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys.
A total of 18,993 people age 6 and older were included in the 1996 survey and 28,445 were observed in the 2005 survey. A designated adult in each household responded to questions regarding medical visits, prescriptions, conditions for which they were treated and other variables.
The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found from 1996-2005, the rate of antidepressant treatment increased from 5.84 percent to 10.12 percent -- or from an estimated 13.3 million to 27 million individuals.
"Significant increases in antidepressant use were evident across all sociodemographic groups examined, except African-Americans, who had comparatively low rates of use in both years -- 1996, 3.61 percent; 2005, 4.51 percent," the study authors said in a statement. "Although antidepressant treatment increased for Hispanics, it remained comparatively low -- 1996, 3.72 percent; 2005, 5.21 percent."