Disparities in Adult Depression by Educational Attainment: What Are the Age Patterns?

Megan Todd , Princeton University
Julien O. Teitler, Columbia University

Depression is the most common mood disorder in the United States and poses an immense health and economic burden. Disparities in depressive symptoms and treatment by socioeconomic status have been well-documented. However, it is not known whether these disparities remain constant over the life course or are dramatically larger in certain age groups. We use data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 2005-2006 through 2013-2014 waves) to assess whether and how disparities by educational attainment in depressive symptoms and treatment change over the adult life course. Reducing socioeconomic disparities is a public health goal. A better understanding of the age pattern of depression disparities may point the way toward designing effective policy interventions.

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 Presented in Session 6. Health & Mortality & Aging