Depression Home > Depression

Who Does It Affect?

Depression can strike anyone, regardless of age, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, or gender. Researchers estimate that in the United States at least 6 million men suffer from the illness every year. This is about 7 percent of the population. Nearly twice as many women (more than 12 million women) suffer from depression each year.
(Click Depression in Men or Depression in Women for more gender-specific information related to the disease. Click Depression Statistics for more statistics.)
Depression is also not just a condition of the young or old. For example, of the 35 million Americans age 65 and older, about 2 million suffer from full-blown depression. Another 5 million suffer from less severe forms.
You can learn about depression in various age groups by visiting any of the following eMedTV articles:

Possible Causes and Risk Factors

Depression research scientists and doctors do not know the exact cause or causes of depression. They do believe that that it is frequently caused by a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors. In other words, there is no one cause of depression.
A number of factors increase a person's chances of developing it. These are known as depression risk factors. Some risk factors include:
(Click Risk Factors for Depression to learn more about each of these risk factors.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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