Around one in 10 people in the US reported to have depression, the leading cause of disability around the world, in 2020, claims a new study.

According to the study, to be published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, in 2020, in the past 12 months depression was prevalent among nearly 1 in 10 Americans and almost 1 in 5 adolescents and young adults.

“Our results showed most adolescents with depression neither told or talked with a healthcare professional about depression symptoms nor received pharmacologic treatment from 2015 through 2020,” said researcher Renee D. Goodwin from Columbia University.

Data were drawn from the 2015a’2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a nationally representative study of US individuals aged 12 years and older.

Previous findings showed increases in depression in the US population from 6.6 percent in 2005 to 7.3 percent in 2015.

“Our study updates the depression prevalence estimates for the US population through the year 2020 and confirms escalating increases in depression from 2015 through 2019, reflecting a public health crisis that was intensifying in the US even before the onset of the pandemic,” said Goodwin.

In 2020, 9 percent of the US aged 12 or older experienced a past-year major depressive episode. Depression was more common among young adults aged 18 to 25 years at slightly more than 17 percent, and adolescents aged 12 to 17 years (16.9 percent).

Depression increased most rapidly among adolescents and young adults and increased among nearly all gender, racial/ethnic, income, and education groups.

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However, depression prevalence did not change among adults aged 35 and over. Overall, the prevalence of help-seeking remained consistently low.

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