DESK REVIEWS | The proportion of the population living with depression?

DESK REVIEW | The proportion of the population living with depression?

Estimates from the WHO showed that, in 2015, 5.8% of the Brazilian population lived with depressive disorders (World Health Organization, 2017). According to the National Health Survey (PNS, 2013), 7.6% of Brazilians aged 18 years and over have been diagnosed with depression. The higher prevalence data were among urban areas (8.0% vs 5.6% in rural), women (10.9% vs 3.9% in men), and people aged 60 to 64 years old (11.1% vs 3.9% among those 19 and 28 years old) (Brazilian Ministry of Health, 2013b).


Brazilian Ministry of Health. (2013b). Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde 2013: Percepção do estado de saúde, estilos de vida e doenças crônicas.

World Health Organization. (2017). Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates.;jsessionid=F9B8AE77F2B1D3698E01577B2AFCBC03?sequence=1

The National Mental Health Survey 2015-2016 conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) reports that the ICD – 10 DCR prevalence of depressive disorders is 5.1% (lifetime) and 2.7% (current) among adults of over 18 years of age in India (National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences [NIMHANS], 2016).


National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences. (2016). National Mental Health Survey of India, 2015-2016: Prevalence, Patterns and Outcomes. National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences. Available from

The Basic Health Survey 2018 reported that 6.1% of the population live with depression. This prevalence estimate is based on an assessment with the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview. No information was found on the number of people getting an official diagnosis among this group. However, only 9% of them get medical treatment (Ministry of Health Republic of Indonesia, 2018).


Ministry of Health Republic of Indonesia. (2018). Riset Kesehatan Dasar 2018. Jakarta: Lembaga Penerbit Badan Penelitian dan Pengembangan Kesehatan. Available at:

In the recent past, statistics by the WHO ranked Kenya on place eight (4.4%) in the international comparison of countries with the highest number of people (1,952,981) with depression (World Health Organization, 2017a). However, regional studies reveal that 19% to 25% of patients attending primary care settings or seeking care from community health providers, such as traditional healers, faith healers, and community health workers have depression (Musyimi et al., 2018; Musyimi et al., 2017; Mutiso et al., 2018).


Musyimi, C. W., Mutiso, V. N., Haji, Z. R., Nandoya, E. S., & Ndetei, D. M. (2018). Mobile Based mhGAP-IG Depression Screening in Kenya. Community Mental Health Journal, 54(1), 84–91.

Musyimi, C. W., Mutiso, V. N., Musau, A. M., Matoke, L. K., & Ndetei, D. M. (2017). Prevalence and determinants of depression among patients under the care of traditional health practitioners in a Kenyan setting: policy implications. Transcultural Psychiatry, 54(3), 285–303.

Mutiso, V. N., Musyimi, C. W., Tomita, A., Loeffen, L., Burns, J. K., & Ndetei, D. M. (2018). Epidemiological patterns of mental disorders and stigma in a community household survey in urban slum and rural settings in Kenya. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 64(2), 120–129.

World Health Organization. (2017a). Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva, Switzerland.

Data from the ENSANUT 2012 survey (Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, 2012), taking a cut-off point of 7≥9 of the Center of Epidemiological Studies of Depression Scale (CES–D) (Radloff, 1977), shows that the prevalence of clinically significant depressive symptoms is estimated at 22.7% (95% CI 16.5-28.9) of women and 8.3% (95% CI 3.3-13.2) of men. Looking at these data by age group, it shows that 14.7% (95% CI 10.3-19.1) adults aged 20-59 years, and 26.8% (95% CI 15.2-38.4%) adults aged 60 years and older experience clinically significant symptoms of depression (Salinas-Rodríguez et al., 2013).


Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública. (2012). Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutrición 2012. Resultados nacionales.

Radloff, L. S. (1977). The CES-D Scale. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1(3), 385–401.

Salinas-Rodríguez, A., En, M. C., Manrique-Espinoza, B., En, D. C., Acosta-Castillo, I., Ma Téllez-Rojo, M., Franco-Núñez, A., Miguel Gutiérrez-Robledo, L., En, D. C., & Luisa Sosa-Ortiz, A. (2013). Validación de un punto de corte para la Escala de Depresión del Centro de Estudios Epidemiológicos, versión abreviada (CESD-7). Salud Pública de México, 55(3), 267–274.

Modelled estimates from the Global Burden of Disease study (2016) show a prevalence of 3.93% for depressive disorders in South Africa.


Global Burden of Disease Study. (2016). IHME GBD results tool. Available [online] at IHME,