Antidepressant use in black and white populations in the United States

Hector M. González, Thomas Croghan, Brady West, David Williams, Randolph Nesse, Wassim Tarraf, Robert Taylor, Ladson Hinton, Harold Neighbors, James Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The study objective was to estimate the prevalence and correlates of antidepressant use by black and white Americans. Methods: Data from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (CPES) were analyzed to calculate nationally representative estimates of past-year antidepressant use by black and white Americans ages 18 years and older (N=9,723). Results: Among individuals with depressive and anxiety disorders in the past year (N=516), black respondents (14.6%) had significantly lower (p<.001) antidepressant use than white respondents (32.4%). Depression severity was significantly associated with higher antidepressant use for white but not for black respondents. Psychiatric disorders and vascular disease significantly increased the odds of past-year antidepressant use. The increased prevalence of antidepressant use associated with vascular disease was independent of diagnosable psychiatric disorders. Among respondents not meeting criteria for depressive and anxiety disorders in the past year, lifetime depressive and anxiety disorders and vascular disease significantly increased the odds of antidepressant use. Conclusions: Few white and fewer black Americans with depressive and anxiety disorders received antidepressant treatment. Higher depression severity was associated with more antidepressant use for white but not for black respondents. Antidepressant use was associated with medical conditions related to vascular disease, and these medical conditions were independent of coexisting psychiatric conditions. The results also indicate that many antidepressants are used for maintenance pharmacotherapy for depressive and anxiety disorders as well as common medical conditions associated with vascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1131-1138
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatric Services
Volume59
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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