Antidepressants Taken By Approximately 1 in 25 Adolescents: CDC Report
Antidepressants are taken by roughly 1 in 25 adolescents aged 12 and above in the United States, according to a new CDC report.
The study is the first to offer statistics on how many kids ages 12 to 17 take antidepressants. It’s based on surveys and depression screenings of about 12,000 Americans.
The study found about 1 in 10 adults take antidepressants. And perhaps more should — the researchers said only one third of people with depression symptoms in the study were taking medication.
"Large numbers of Americans are not receiving antidepressants for their clinical depression," said Mark Olfson, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, in an interview with AFP.
The study found that from 1988 to 1994 and 2005 to 2008, antidepressant use increased nearly 400 percent.
The upswing was attributed to the discovery of SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) that have fewer side effects than previous versions of the medications.
More than 60 percent of those on antidepressants said they had taken it for two years or longer, and 14 percent had used the pills for 10 years or more.
"The reasons for these differences do require more research and more study. Part of it may have to do with underlying cultural preferences," said Olfson.
Minority groups "may have different relationships with their physicians than non-Hispanic whites do," he added. "The role of the church, the role of the family and so forth, they may help to explain this,” he said.
The CDC report also found that women take the drugs more than men, and whites use them more than blacks or Mexican-Americans.
The report was published Wednesday: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs