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Editorial
January 6,1999

Treating Depression as a Recurrent or Chronic Disease

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Dr Glass is Deputy Editor of JAMA.

JAMA. 1999;281(1):83-84. doi:10.1001/jama.281.1.83

Major depression is the fourth leading cause of worldwide disease burden, according to a recent study of premature mortality and disability around the world.1 The disease burden attributable to unipolar major depression ranks after lower respiratory tract infections, diarrheal diseases, and perinatal disorders, but ahead of ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and tuberculosis.1 It is hard to imagine more compelling evidence for the importance of diagnosing and treating depression effectively.

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