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Depression worsens health

10th September 2007

Depression is a debilitating condition which has a negative affect on a person's overall health, as well as severely impairing their ability to live daily life, according to a new global study.

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The condition has a more disabling impact than angina, arthritis, asthma or even diabetes, according to recent research published by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

If it is combined with a chronic illness like diabetes, the effects are magnified to an even greater degree.

The WHO study of 245,000 people in 60 countries found that better treatment for depression could have a beneficial effect on people's overall health.

Study leader Somnath Chatterji said the results showed clearly that depression had the largest effect on worsening health.

Participants in the study--part of the World Health Survey--were asked detailed questions about their overall state of health, including how well they slept, how much pain they had, and whether they experienced difficulties with memory or concentration.

They were also asked about how they coped with the tasks of day-to-day living.

Those with depression scored as badly as those with other serious illnesses, and the effect was heightened if depression and another chronic condition existed in the same person, the team found.

The survey, which was published in The Lancet, has led to calls for better funding for mental health services.

Chatterji said the results showed the urgency of addressing depression as a public health priority to reduce the burden of disease and disabiity, and to improve the overall health of populations.

The team called on doctors around the world to be more alert in the diagnosis and treatment of the condition, noting that it is fairly easy to recognise and treat.

Experts say the impact of depression can be devastating on relationships, finances and physical health, that it should be given equal footing with the treatment of other conditions.

 

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Comments

Abdul Naseer

Sunday 23rd September 2007 @ 1:09

This is true that depression makes the conditions of asthma worsen. I am patient of asthma and I have observed these conditions


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