WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – A new study coordinated by the World Health Organization indicates that depression is now the second leading cause of disability in the world.

Researchers working on the Global Burden of Disease study found that major depressive disorder contributes to the manifestation of ailments ranging from diarrheal disease to lower respiratory infections.

It is also a leading contributor to ischemic heart disease and suicide, the medical news website Medscape is reporting.

Depression has been rising as a cause of disease in the world since 1990, when it was the fourth leading cause. By 2000, it had become the third largest, before rising to second place in the 2010 study.

The team involved by the study, led by Alize Ferrari of the Queensland Center for Mental Health Research and the University of Queensland in Australia, poured over data from multiple relevant studies on various forms of depression.

Researchers ultimately found that major depressive disorder was responsible for 8.2 percent of years lived with a disability throughout the world.

“[The findings of this study] reinforce the importance of treating depressive disorders as a public-health priority and of implementing cost-effective interventions to reduce their ubiquitous burden,” the team was quoted as saying.

The study was published in the journal PLoS Medicine earlier this week.


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