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How Depressed is Illinois?

Major depression is on the rise among Americans and certain groups and parts of the country have been hit harder than others, according to a new report from Blue Cross Blue Shield of America.

The data looks at medical claims from Blue Cross Blue Shield members from 2013 to 2016 and found a 33 percent jump in diagnosis of major depression over that time. In total, more than 9 million commercially insured people across the United States suffer from major depression, the report estimates.

Millennials and teenagers have experienced the fastest climb in diagnosis rates, up 47 percent and 63 percent, respectively.

“The high rates for adolescents and millennials could have a substantial health impact for decades to come,” Trent Haywood, the group’s senior vice president and chief medical officer, said in a statement.

Women are diagnosed with major depression at double the rate of men.

The report also found wide geographic differences in the diagnosis of major depression among states. The data showed higher rates of major depression in New England, the Pacific Northwest and various pockets throughout the South and Midwest.

The highest rate of depression was in Rhode Island at about 6 percent, while the lowest was in Hawaii at 2 percent. Every state except Hawaii experienced rising diagnosis rates of depression over the course of the study period.


However, the authors note that differences in the effort to screen for major depression can produce varying diagnoses rates across states.

What’s behind the rise in major depression diagnoses?

Read here to find out: How Depressed is Your State?

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