Prevalence of depression among electrical workers

Am J Ind Med. 1994 Feb;25(2):165-76. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700250203.


To address the possible association between electric and magnetic field exposure and depression, we analyzed data from the Vietnam Experience Study. In order to compare the risk of diagnosed depression, depressive symptoms, and elevations in personality scales indicative of depression, we classified employed participants as electrical workers (N = 183) and nonelectrical workers (N = 3,861) and compared their scores on the Diagnostic Interview Survey (DIS) and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Electrical workers in the aggregate showed little evidence of increased risk, with the possible exception of an increase in elevated MMPI depression scores among short-term workers. Data on electricians yielded indications of increased risk for several markers of depression. Despite the limited number of electrical workers, uncertainty regarding exposure, and our inability to address other workplace exposures, these results suggest that electrical workers in general are not at increased risk for depression. However, our results encourage further evaluation of depression among electricians.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology*
  • Electricity
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Veterans / psychology
  • Workplace