State and local area estimates of depression and anxiety among adults with disabilities in 2006

Catherine A. Okoro, M.S., Lela R. McKnight-Eily, Ph.D., Tara W. Strine, M.P.H., John E. Crews, Ph.D., James B. Holt, Ph.D., Lina S. Balluz, Sc.D.

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341

Disability and Health Journal
Volume 4, Issue 2, Pages 78–90, April 2011

Published Online: July 05, 2010




Depression and anxiety are prevalent among adults with disabilities. However, little is known regarding the geographic variability of depression and anxiety among adults with disabilities in the United States.


We estimated prevalence of current depression, lifetime diagnoses of depression (LD), and lifetime diagnoses of anxiety (LA) among adults with disabilities by state, metropolitan and micropolitan statistical area (MMSA), and county.


We analyzed Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data from 2006 for 41 states and territories, 74 MMSAs, and 112 counties. Stratified analyses by sociodemographic and health status variables were performed for the 10 MMSAs with the highest estimates of current depression, LD, and LA, respectively. Current depressive symptoms were assessed with the Patient Health Questionnaire-8.


Estimates of current depression, LD, and LA among adults with disabilities varied substantially by state, MMSA, and county. Current depression estimates ranged from 14.7% in North Dakota to 30.1% in Mississippi; from 8.4% in San Francisco–Oakland–Fremont, CA, to 36.2% in Jacksonville, FL; and from 12.3% in Cumberland County, ME, to 44% in Orleans Parish, LA. There was major variation within some states (e.g., prevalence of current depression was 8.4% in San Francisco–Oakland–Fremont, CA compared to 25.5% in Los Angeles–Long Beach–Glendale, CA). In the 10 MMSAs with the highest estimates, estimates varied by age, gender, socioeconomic status, and health status.


Public and mental health agencies may find these estimates useful for program planning purposes to address depression and anxiety among adults with disabilities.