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Unexpected high prevalence of 1-month depression in a small Brazilian community: the Bambuí Study

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Objective: To determine the prevalence of depression in a community with 15 000 inhabitants in Brazil (Bambuí).

Method: The Composite International Diagnostic Interview was applied in a random sample of 1041 residents aged 18+ years.

Results: The ICD-10 1-month, 1-year and lifetime prevalences of depression were 8.2% (95% CI:6.5–9.8), 10.0% (95% CI:8.2–11.8) and 15.6% (95% CI:13.4–17.8), respectively. Kappa coefficients comparing ICD-10 and DSM-III-R diagnoses were high (0.73–0.79). Female sex (OR=2.4; 95% CI:1.3–4.2), age 45–59 years (OR=3.5; 95% CI:1.7–7.2) and 60 years (OR=4.0; 95% CI:1.9–8.5) and being out of work (OR=2.1; 95% CI:1.2–3.6) were independently and positively associated with 1-month depression.

Conclusion: The 1-month prevalence of depression was higher than that observed in similar studies in developed and developing countries. Depression may be a major unidentified disease of people living in small communities of Brazil and other developing countries, especially among older women.
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Keywords: Brazil; age; depression; epidemiology; factors; prevalence; socioeconomic

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-10-01

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