Journal article

Simulation studies of age-specific lifetime major depression prevalence

Scott B Patten, Lee Gordon-Brown, Graham Meadows

BMC PSYCHIATRY | BMC | Published : 2010

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The lifetime prevalence (LTP) of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is the proportion of a population having met criteria for MDD during their life up to the time of assessment. Expectation holds that LTP should increase with age, but this has not usually been observed. Instead, LTP typically increases in the teenage years and twenties, stabilizes in adulthood and then begins to decline in middle age. Proposed explanations for this pattern include: a cohort effect (increasing incidence in more recent birth cohorts), recall failure and/or differential mortality. Declining age-specific incidence may also play a role. METHODS: We used a simulation model to explore patterns of incidence..

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