Prevalence of depression, quality of life and antidepressant treatment in the Danish General Suburban Population Study

Nord J Psychiatry. 2014 Oct;68(7):507-12. doi: 10.3109/08039488.2013.877074. Epub 2014 Jan 29.


Background: The Danish General Suburban Population Study (GESUS), the objective of which is to facilitate epidemiological and genetic research, has included the Major Depression Inventory (MDI) and the WHO-Five Well-Being Index (WHO-5) among the medical health questionnaires. We were thus in a position to compare the 2-week prevalence of ICD-10 depression in the period from 2010 to 2012 with our previous Danish general population study from 2003, in which the MDI was also included.

Aims: The aim of our analysis was not only to evaluate the point prevalence of ICD-10 depression but also to describe the prevalence of antidepressants received by the respondents in the GESUS study and the correspondence to their subjective well-being on the WHO-5 questionnaire.

Methods: To evaluate the validity (scalability) of the MDI and the WHO-5 in the GESUS study we performed the non-parametric Mokken analysis. The scalability of the MDI and the WHO-5 was quite acceptable.

Results: In total, 14,787 respondents were available from a response rate of 50%. The 2-week prevalence of ICD-10 depression was 2.3%, which is rather similar to the 2.8% in our 2003 study. The rate of people receiving antidepressants increased consistently with increasing severity of ICD-10 depression.

Conclusion: This study has confirmed that the use of the MDI to obtain an ICD-10 depression diagnosis gives rather conservative estimates of the 2-week prevalence of depression in the Danish general population. The prescription of antidepressants depends on the severity of the ICD-10 depression diagnosis.

Keywords: Depressive illness; Major Depression Inventory; WHO-5.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Depression / drug therapy
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life*
  • Suburban Health
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Antidepressive Agents