A new report released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of people with depression, panic attacks, and other mental health disorders has increased significantly in the past decade, while the number with an outbreak of a rash or other health problem has increased.
The report, which analyzed CDC data from 2000 to 2015, is the latest data to show that the American people are experiencing a rise in illnesses related to stress and depression.
The new data came from the National Epidemiology Center, a branch of the CDC that focuses on tracking and documenting the nation’s epidemic of chronic illness.
The study is the first comprehensive look at the link between stress and mental illness.
“This is a major step forward,” said Michael Peevey, the president of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a co-author of the report.
“We have this new information that indicates that the increase in stress and illness is directly tied to the increased numbers of people who are dealing with stress.”
Stress is a key factor in a range of illnesses, including depression, anxiety and schizophrenia, but the new data shows that the stress response may also play a role in increasing the incidence of those illnesses.
“What we are seeing here is that stress and anxiety are having a significant impact on how we interact with each other,” said Dr. Daniel Minsky, an epidemiologist at the National Institutes of Health who was not involved in the study.
The number of Americans with depression has risen nearly twofold over the past five years.
About 5.5 million Americans have major depression and about 3.5 to 4 million have anxiety disorders, the CDC found.
While stress and symptoms associated with depression have been linked to increased health risks, the new study finds that they are also linked to an increased risk of illnesses such as rashes, anxiety disorders and other conditions, such as asthma.
The increased risk may be a result of how stress and psychological distress can affect the body, as well as the stressor itself, according to the report, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
Stress has been linked with increased risk for diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Stress can also contribute to an increase in the risk of chronic illnesses, such to heart disease and cancer, according the report and to studies of the effects of stress on the immune system.
Depression and anxiety symptoms can also increase the risk for certain types of cancer.
In addition, stress may cause a rise of inflammatory markers in the body that lead to more of these illnesses, said Dr in a statement.
The prevalence of chronic mental illness has increased in the United States over the last two decades.
About 11 percent of adults and 13 percent of children are classified as having major depression or anxiety disorders.
The rate of anxiety disorders among children has risen since 2000, according a recent study.
About 4.4 million people are now living with a chronic mental health condition, according CDC data.
In the past 10 years, the number that have been diagnosed with a depression-related disorder rose by more than 50 percent, the study found.
About 2.2 million Americans had at least one of the following conditions: major depression, major anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, dysthymia, major substance abuse disorder, anxiety disorder and/or panic disorder.
The CDC also reported that the prevalence of major depression has been rising steadily in recent years.
The agency said the increase is due in part to a rise among young people, which has increased the number and the severity of depressive symptoms.
“As we age, depression can cause depression-like symptoms, such like loss of interest or a sense of hopelessness, and then it can become more severe,” said Minsky.
The research team found that depression-linked illnesses are disproportionately among women, younger people, and African Americans.
While there are some health benefits of stress reduction, it may not be enough, said Peevey.
“The evidence shows that if you don’t manage stress well, then stress is going to be the driver of these illness-related diseases.”