*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.
Americans are fast becoming a very depressed lot.
New research shows there's been a sharp spike in cases of major depression in the United States in recent years, especially among teens and millennials.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association analysis of medical claims data showed that the overall rate of major depression was 4.4 percent and that diagnosis rates rose 33 percent between 2013 and 2016. Those rates increased 63 percent among teens and 47 percent among millennials.
Women were twice as likely to be diagnosed with major depression than men, 6 percent vs. 3 percent, according to the health insurance company's Health of America Report, released in May 2018.
People with major depression are nearly 30 percent less healthy, on average, than those without depression. Eighty-five percent of people with major depression have one or more other serious chronic health conditions, and nearly 30 percent have four or more other health conditions, according to the report authors.
"Major depression diagnoses are growing quickly, especially for adolescents and millennials," said Trent Haywood, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield.
"The high rates for adolescents and millennials could have a substantial health impact for decades to come. Further education and research is needed to identify methods for both physicians and patients to effectively treat major depression and begin a path to recovery and better overall health," Haywood said in a association news release.