Affective disorders in five United States communities

Psychol Med. 1988 Feb;18(1):141-53. doi: 10.1017/s0033291700001975.


Results on the age/sex specific prevalence of DSM-III affective disorders from the NIMH Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study (ECA), a probability sample of over 18,000 adults from five United States communities, are presented. The cross-site means for bipolar disorder ranged from 0.7/100 (2 weeks) to 1.2/100 (lifetime), with a mean age of onset of 21 years and no sex difference in rates. The cross-site means for major depression ranged from 1.5/100 (2 weeks) to 4.4/100 (lifetime), with a mean age onset of 27 years and higher rates in women. The cross-site means for dysthymia, a chronic condition, was 3.1/100 with a higher rate in women. There was reasonable consistency in prevalence rates among sites. The implications of these findings for understanding psychopathology are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Bipolar Disorder / epidemiology*
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maryland
  • Middle Aged
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • Sex Factors