WASHINGTON (CBSDC) –- According to a new study, the percentage of men that experience symptoms of depression is very similar to the percentage of women that experience depression.
Researchers found the percentage similar when they took traditional and alternative symptoms into account.
“You end up getting very similar rates of depression,” Lisa Martin, the study’s lead author from the University of Michigan in Dearborn told Reuters Health.
According to previous studies, women were twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression. Martin and her colleagues noted that about 16 percent of Americans currently meet the criteria for depression.
In this study, Martin and her team collected data from a nationally-representative survey of 3,310 women and 2,382 men.
They found that 26 percent of men and 22 percent of women met the criteria for depression. Whey they factored in traditional as well as alternative symptoms, they found that 33 percent of women met the criteria compared to 31 percent of men.
“Paying attention to a couple of these other symptoms allowed men who didn’t really meet the threshold of symptoms to be considered,” Martin added to Reuters. “Right now we’re in an interesting place where clinicians and some research say we really need to pay attention to alternative depression symptoms.”
Martin suggests that her research should change how doctors evaluate their patients who experience or are at risk for depression.
“It doesn’t do us a lot of good to know more men get depression more than we thought if we can’t get them through the door to get help,” Martin added. “How we advertise for support groups and how we do outreach to people needs to change.”
The study was published in the online journal JAMA Psychiatry.