Mood disorders 2008

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Mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, greatly affect the lives of those who suffer from them. The impact of depression on job performance has been estimated to be greater than that of chronic conditions such as arthritis, hypertension, back problems and diabetes.

The data used for this health indicator are based on a survey question that asked about mood disorders diagnosed by a health professional, for example depression, bipolar disorder, mania or dysthemia.

The percentage of Canadians reporting a diagnosed mood disorder rose from 5.3% in 2003 to 6.8% in 2008. Throughout this period, women reported significantly higher levels of mood disorders than did men.

Chart 1


Chart 1: Percentage reporting mood disorders, by sex, population aged 12 or older, Canada, 2003 to 2008

In 2008, only the 45- to 54-year-old age group had above average levels of mood disorders. Levels among 12- to 19-year-olds, and those 65 or older were below the national average, with all other age groups being close to the average. Women reported significantly higher levels of mood disorders than did men in each age group, except for 65 or older where there was no difference.

Chart 2


Chart 2: Percentage reporting mood disorders, by age group and sex, population aged 12 or older, Canada, 2008

The percentages of Ontario and British Columbia residents reporting diagnosed mood disorders were higher than the national average in 2008. The percentages in Quebec and Northwest Territories were below average. All other provinces and territories did not differ from the national average for mood disorders.

Chart 3


Chart 3: Percentage reporting mood disoders, by province, population aged 12 or older, Canada, 2008

Overall in 2008, urban and rural residents were equally likely to report diagnosed mood disorders (about 6.8%). However, women in urban areas were more likely than those in rural areas to report mood disorders (8.7% versus 7.3%); among men there was no significant difference (about 5.0% for both).


Additional information from the Canadian Community Health Survey is available from CANSIM table 105-0501.


Income and psychological distress:The role of the social environment. Orpana H, Lemyre L, Gravel R. 2009; 20(1): 1-8.
Depression and work impairment. Gilmour H, Patten S. 2007; 18(1): 9-22.
Stress and depression in the employed population. Shields M. 2006; 17(4): 11-29.
Bipolar I disorder, social support and work. Wilkins K. 2004; 15: 23-51.

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