U.S.: 11 percent take antidepressants

Oct. 19, 2011 at 7:42 PM
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ATLANTA, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Eleven percent of Americans age 12 and over take antidepressant medication, but U.S. health officials say more people may need medication.

Researchers at the Centers and Disease Prevention analyzed National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2005 to 2008 and found about one-third of people with severe depressive symptoms take antidepressant medication.

Less than one-third of Americans taking one antidepressant medication, and less than one-half of those taking multiple antidepressants, have seen a mental health professional in the past year, the study found.

The study found women were more likely to take the medication than men, and whites were medicated more often than blacks or Hispanics.

More than 60 percent of Americans taking antidepressant medication have taken it for two years or longer, with 14 percent on the medication for 10 years or more.

Antidepressants were the most frequently used drug among those ages 18-44, while antidepressants were the third-most common prescription drug taken by Americans of all ages in 2005 to 2008, the study found.

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