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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


GOMEZ-RESTREPO, Carlos et al. The prevalence of and factors associated with depression in Colombia. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2004, vol.16, n.6, pp.378-386. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVES: To analyze the prevalence of depression and the factors associated with it in Colombia in 2000 and 2001. METHODS: For this descriptive cross-sectional study a survey was conducted between November 2000 and January 2001 with 1 116 men and women 18 years of age or older who were living in private homes that were selected through a multistage national representative sampling, stratified according to the degree of urbanization of the area included in the sampling. Depression was classified as brief recurrent depression, subclinical depression, or mild, moderate, or serious clinical depressive episodes in the 30 days and in the 12 months prior to the interview. Simple and stratified frequencies of over 500 variables, along with their 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs), were calculated by age and gender. The association that the selected variables had with depressive episodes was evaluated through a multivariate logistic regression model. RESULTS: Of the persons studied, 10.0% of them (95% CI: 9.2% to 10.7%) had had a depressive episode in the 12 months prior to the survey, and 8.5% (95% CI: 7.8% to 9.2%) had suffered a depressive episode in the preceding month. There was a higher proportion of women with depression in both of the periods. More than 50% of the episodes were moderate, in both men and women. There were higher prevalences of depression in persons older than 45 years. The factors associated with depression in the preceding month were: female gender; considering one's health to be moderate or bad; suffering from pain or discomfort; having difficulties in interpersonal relations; consuming marijuana, addictive substances, stimulants, or tranquilizers; being dependent on alcohol; and being unemployed and unable to work. CONCLUSIONS: Depression is a frequent disorder in Colombia. Measures directed at reducing the risk of depression should be implemented, especially among women and in persons over 45 years old.

Keywords : Depresión; trastorno depresivo; factores de riesgo; Colombia.

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