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Where you live may affect your state of mind
Date:4/13/2009

San Diego, CA, April 14, 2009 Frequent Mental Distress (FMD), defined as having 14 or more days in the previous month when stress, depression and emotional problems were not good , is not evenly distributed across the United States. In fact, certain geographic areas have consistently high or consistently low FMD incidence, as shown in a study published in the June 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Combining data from annual large-scale surveys in 1993-2001 and 2003-2006 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found that the adult prevalence of FMD was 9.4% overall, ranging from 6.6% in Hawaii to 14.4% in Kentucky. FMD prevalence varied both over time and by geographic area within states. From the earlier period to the later period, the mean prevalence of FMD increased by at least 1 percentage point in 27 states and by more than 4 percentage points in Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia. The Appalachian and the Mississippi Valley regions had high and increasing FMD prevalence, and the upper Midwest had low and decreasing FMD prevalence.

The state-based Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) has asked questions about mental health since 1993 and collects data from random telephone surveys of adult residents across the U.S. More than 1.2 million people were surveyed in each of the two periods. FMD prevalence was determined by county, and the results were smoothed to reduce variation from random sampling due to small sample sizes in less populous counties.

For the 1993� period, the smoothed FMD prevalence was less than 8% in 31.8% of the 3112 counties analyzed and was ≥12.0% in 4.8% of the counties. For the 2003� period, the smoothed FMD prevalence was < 8% in 15.9% of the 3113 counties analyzed and was ≥ 12.0% in 16.1% of the counties. Consistent multicounty geographic patterns were evident for both periodsincluding areas where smoothed FMD
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Contact: AJPM Editorial Office
eAJPM@ucsd.edu
858-534-9340
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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