It's a sad, sad, sad, sad world: Depression and global disability

Clinical depression is now the second-leading cause of global disability, according to new research, with the highest rates of incidence affecting working-age adults and women more than men.

In a paper published Tuesday in the journal Plos Medicine, researchers found that depressive disorders were second only to lower respiratory infections when it came to inflicting the most years of disability on people throughout the world. Rates of depression were highest in Afghanistan and lowest in Japan, while the condition ranked as the top cause of disability in Central America and Central and Southeast Asia.

Authors reviewed a variety of published epidemiological studies before calculating that the global prevalence of depression was 4.4%. Authors wrote that the rate for women, 5.5%, was higher than it was for men, 3.2%.