Lifetime and current depression in the German National Cohort (NAKO)


Fabian Streit, Lea Zillich, Josef Frank, Luca Kleineidam, Michael Wagner, Bernhard T. Baune, Johanna Klinger-König, Hans J. Grabe, Alexander Pabst, Steffi G. Riedel-Heller, Florian Schmiedek, Börge Schmidt, Angelika Erhardt, Jürgen Deckert, Marcella Rietschel, Klaus Berger




The world journal of biological psychiatry: the official journal of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry




OBJECTIVES: The present study introduces the assessment of depression and depressive symptoms in the German National Cohort (NAKO), a population-based mega cohort. Distribution of core measures, and associations with sociodemographic factors are examined. METHODS: The current analysis includes data from the first 101,667 participants (NAKO data freeze 100,000). Depression and depressive symptoms were assessed using a modified version of the depression section of the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), self-reported physician’s diagnosis of depression, and the depression scale of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). RESULTS: A lifetime physician’s diagnosis of depression was reported by 15.0% of participants. Of those, 47.6% reported having received treatment for depression within the last 12 months. Of the subset of 26,342 participants undergoing the full depression section of the modified MINI, 15.9% were classified by the MINI with a lifetime depressive episode. Based on the PHQ-9, 5.8% of the participants were classified as currently having a major or other depression by the diagnostic algorithm, and 7.8% according to the dimensional assessment (score ≥ 10). Increased frequency of depression measures and higher depression scores were observed in women and participants with lower education level or a family history of depression. CONCLUSIONS: The observed distributions of all depression measures and their associations with sociodemographic variables are consistent with the literature on depression. The NAKO represents a valuable epidemiologic resource to investigate depression, and the range of measures for lifetime and current depression allows users to select the most suitable instrument for their specific research question.