GENEVA, Switzerland, Sept. 7 -- No individual chronic disease -- not angina, not arthritis, not asthma, not diabetes -- is more disabling than depression, according to a World Health Organization study.
In the World Health Survey of 245,404 patients ages 18 and older, from 60 countries in all regions of the world. respondents with depression had the lowest health score among all five chronic disease conditions, 72.9 (P
On the basis of interviews and self-reports, respondents with asthma, angina, arthritis, or diabetes alone had mean health scores of 80.3, 79.6, 79.3, and 78.9, respectively, significantly different from having no disease, but not from one another, Somnath Chatterji, M.D., of the WHO here, and colleagues, reported in the Sept. 8 issue of The Lancet.
Patients with depression plus even one chronic disease had the worst scores on a health survey, they added. Respondents with neither chronic disease nor depression had the highest health score of 90.6.