Health Highlights: Nov. 6, 2013

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Depression Is No. 2 Cause of Disability Worldwide: U.N.

After back pain, depression is the next biggest cause of disability across the world and must be treated as a global public health priority, say experts from the United Nations' World Health Organization (WHO).

The group looked at 2010 data and compared depression against over 200 other diseases and injuries as a cause of disability. The WHO found that only a small percentage of people who suffer from the illness have access to proper care, BBC News reported.

"Depression is a big problem and we definitely need to pay more attention to it than we are now," lead study author Dr. Alize Ferrari, of the University of Queensland's School of Population Health in Australia, told the BBC.

The report found wide variance in depression incidence worldwide. Rates were highest in Afghanistan and lowest in Japan.

The WHO has recently launched a "global mental health action plan" aimed at boosting awareness among policymakers, the BBC said.

Posted: November 2013


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