October 1984

Stability of PrevalenceDepression and Anxiety Disorders

Author Affiliations

From the Harvard Program in Psychiatric Epidemiology, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School (Dr Murphy), and the Department of Behavioral Sciences (Mr Sobol) and Health Sciences Computing Facility (Dr Olivier), Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; the Department of Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH (Dr Neff); and the Departments of Psychiatry and Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University Medical School, Halifax, Nova Scotia (Dr Leighton).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(10):990-997. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790210072009

• Information about point prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders from two cross-sectional surveys in Stirling County (Canada) indicates that an overall prevalence rate of 12.5% characterized a year close to midcentury and a prevalence rate of 12.7% characterized another year toward the end of the century's third quarter. The stability of the prevalence rates contrasts sharply with the fact that numerous social changes took place over this period of time in this place of study. There were, however, small trends in the distribution of depression and anxiety by sex and age, especially an increased similarity in the overall rates for men and women in the age range of 40 to 69 years. Hypotheses are offered about social circumstances that may have influenced the diminishing difference between the sexes.