Social And Economic Burden Of Depression Release: Economic Burden Of Depression In China Is Second Highest Worldwide

HONG KONG, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers from the SEBoD (Social and Economic Burden of Depression) Initiative will present preliminary results of the first study ever to evaluate the costs of depression in China on October 30. Preliminary results from the SEBoD Economic Cost of Depression in China study found that the economic burden from depression was at least RMB30 billion (US$3.5 billion) annually in China. This data, as well as progress reports from eight SEBoD country chapters, was presented at SEBoD's annual symposium and announced at an international psychiatry meeting in Hong Kong this weekend.

"Working with Chinese officials in the Ministry of Health and regional mental health clinics, SEBoD has broken new ground to address the economic impact of depression on Asia's largest economy," said Professor Teh-wei Hu, PhD, study designer, SEBoD Steering Committee member, and Professor, Health Economics, University of Berkeley. "The SEBoD Economic Cost of Depression in China study demonstrates that indirect costs of depression, such as loss of productivity from patients and caregivers as well as the cost of premature loss of life from suicide, present a significant burden. Similar to studies in other countries, indirect costs of depression in China are almost twice the costs of treatment."

Overall, the economic burden of depression in China is second only to the United States. Additional preliminary results from SEBoD's Economic Costs of Depression in China study include:

  -- Caregivers spend 17 to 25 percent of their annual income caring for
     patients with depression, in addition to approximately 17 hours per
     week and 60 days per year of lost work
  -- With the highest national suicide rate worldwide for certain
     populations, the cost of suicide attributable to depression in China is
     approximately RMB5 billion (US$600 million) annually
  -- Treatment cost of depression represents approximately three percent of
     total national health spending

"Asian societies can't afford to overlook depression as a serious public health issue," said Norman Sartorius, MD, PhD, Chairman of the SEBoD Initiative, and Former Director of the Division of Mental Health in the World Health Organization. "By 2020 depression will be the second leading cause of disease-burden in Asia. The SEBoD Initiative calls on individuals, governments and the medical community to improve the recognition and treatment of depressive disorders, thus reducing the social and economic burden of depression in Asia."

The SEBoD Economic Cost of Depression in China Study

The SEBoD Economic Cost of Depression in China study interviewed 500 patients diagnosed with depression to analyze direct treatment costs, loss of productivity, and the burden incurred by caregivers. The study was conducted in five cities (Beijing, Changsha, Chengdu, Shanghai, and Suzhou) in collaboration with eight mental health hospitals. Institutional unit cost on outpatient and inpatient services were collected from clinical study sites and other regional sites. Financial statistics reported by the Ministry of Health, available epidemiological data and health services surveys, and published national suicide rates and labor market surveys were all used in the study analysis.

"China is dedicated to addressing issues of mental health, especially depression," said Dr. He YanLing, co-principal investigator of the study, Professor at Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Second Medical University. "SEBoD's Economic Cost of Depression in China study highlights the need for mental health professionals and policy makers throughout Asia to consider the impact of depression including and beyond patients' daily burdens. The burden of depression is a burden of an entire society."

  SEBoD Publication in Australasian Psychiatry Volume 12 Supplemental

  -- Reducing the Social and Economic Burdens of Depression (SEBoD) in Asia,
     Dr. Norman Sartorius;
  -- Epidemiology of Depression in the Asia Pacific Region, Edmond Chiu,
     Professor of Old Age Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia;
  -- The Economic Burden of Depression in the Asia Pacific Region, Professor
     Teh-wei Hu;
  -- A review of the Legislative Mechanisms Available to Protect the Social
     Rights of People with Depression in the Asia Pacific Region, Chritina
     Ricci, Research Fellow, Brain & Mind Research Institute, The University
     of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; Ming-Been Lee, Professor of
     Psychiatry, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei,
     Taiwan; and Chen-Huan Chiu, Attending Psychiatrist, Taipei City
     Psychiatric Center, Taipei, Taiwan;
  -- A Preliminary Survey of Undergraduate Education on Depression in
     Medical Schools in the Asia Pacific Region, Min-Soo Lee, Professor,
     Department of Psychiatry, Korea University, Seoul, Korea;
  -- Treatment Guidelines for Depression in the Asia Pacific Region: a
     review of current developments, Ian Hickie, Professor of Psychiatry and
     Executive Director, Brain & Mind Research Institute, the University of
     Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  -- Can We Reduce the Burden of Depression? The Australian Experience with
     beyondblue: the national depression initiative, Ian Hickie, Clinical
     Advisor, beyondblue: the national depression initiative, Victoria,
     Australia

  About SEBoD

The SEBoD (Social and Economic Burden of Depression) Initiative is an international call to action for individuals, governments and the medical community to join forces to eliminate the comprehensive suffering and socioeconomic burden caused by depression in Asia. SEBoD programs focus on achieving three primary goals: 1) destigmatize depression; 2) improve diagnosis and access to treatment for depressive disorders and 3) reduce the social and economic burden of depression on Asian economies. SEBoD is a growing movement with chapters in eight countries. For more information please visit http://www.sebod.org/.

Social and Economic Burden of Depression

CONTACT: Jeff Tarmy of Social and Economic Burden of Depression, HongKong, 852-9614-9441, U.S., +1-617-939-3316

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