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Friday, July 29, 2011

Study: Richer Countries Have Higher Depression

We've all heard money can't buy you love. It looks like money can't buy happiness, either.

New research unveiled this week in the journal BMC Medicine reveals that not only does money not create happiness, it may in fact do the opposite.

Using a diagnostic test from the World Health Organization (WHO), an international team of researchers polled 90,000 people from 18 countries and across income levels and found surprising results.

In the countries considered high-income, an average of 15 percent of respondents reported experiencing at least one major depressive episode in their lifetime. In the remaining eight low-to-middle income countries, the number was much lower – only 11 percent admitted depression, reported the Los Angeles Times .

The countries with the highest rates of depression were the United States, France, the Netherlands and New Zealand – all with rates upwards of 18 percent. The lowest were Mexico, India, South Africa and China, with levels dipping below 12 percent in some places, according to the study.

“On one level, it seems counterintuitive that people in high-income countries should experience more stress than those in low- to middle-income countries. However, it has been suggested that depression is to some extent an illness of affluence," the authors wrote in the study. (more)