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Home Industry News Depression ‘worse in France’

Depression ‘worse in France’

1st November 2007

Depressive symptoms and syndromes are worse in the Latin countries France, Italy and Spain than the Germanic countries Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands, researchers have found.

A study of over 22,000 Europeans showed that this is particularly true of symptoms related to lack of motivation.

Scientists led by Professor Martin Prince at the Institute of Psychiatry studied people aged over 50 in ten European countries: Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy and Greece.

Each participant filled in a report on depression and was interviewed by the researchers.

Two types of depression were studied: affective suffering symptoms (tearfulness, guilt, suicidal feelings); and motivation symptoms (pessimism, loss of interest and lack of enjoyment).

The depressive symptom scores were highest in France, Italy and Spain, where the prevalence of probable depression was nearly two times higher than that in other areas.

Commenting on the findings, the researchers propose that factors linked to the shared linguistic and cultural heritage may have contributed to the high levels of reported depression symptoms in Latin countries.

Professor Prince said: “The extent of the difference in mental health outcomes between countries is striking.”

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