Which European countries consume the most antidepressants?
According to a new study, the consumption of antidepressants increased dramatically in the last two decades. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, and their findings were published in the Nature Communications journal.
The researchers observed that global consumption of antidepressant drugs (AD) has increased by nearly two and a half times from 2000 to 2020 in 18 European countries. They also found that use of antidepressants increased during the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
The researchers concluded that there is a correlation between these two factors: a dramatic increase in anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as an increase in antidepressant consumption.
Lead author Dr. Marie-Josee Perroud said: “We were able to show that there is indeed a relationship between these two phenomena: people who are prone to mental illness are more likely than average to be infected with influenza A virus.
” This means that people who are predisposed to mental illness are more likely than others to suffer from symptoms such as anxiety or depression during pandemics like COVID-19.”
The amount of antidepressants consumed by people in OECD countries has been rising steadily since 2000, according to data from the OECD.
- The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published a report which shows that the defined daily dose (DDD) consumption of “N06A-Antidepressants” increased from 30.5 DDD per 1,000 people per day in 2000 to 75.3 DDD in 2020. This is an increase of 147 per cent over the period.
This group “comprises preparations used in the treatment of endogenous and exogenous depressions,” according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
However, this overall average conceals very different starting points for antidepressant use in 2000 in certain countries, ranging from 6.4 DDD in Estonia to 70.5 DDD in Iceland.
The Czech Republic recorded the highest increase with 577 per cent while it only rose by 38 per cent in France making it the lowest change in these countries between 2000 and 2020, albeit from a relatively high level.
The use of antidepressant pharmaceuticals has risen in Europe by over 200 per cent in the last two decades.
A new report from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) shows how the use of AD drugs has increased dramatically in European countries over 20 years. The study looked at France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden—five countries that were selected because they all have different levels of economic development and health care systems.
While there are some differences between these countries, it’s clear that antidepressant consumption has increased every year since 1996.
Can happiness and antidepressants go hand in hand?
The short answer is no. Data from European countries does not suggest that the happier people are, the less they consume antidepressants. In fact, there’s even a correlation between happiness and higher antidepressant consumption.
Iceland, which was the second happiest country in the world according to the World Happiness Report (WHP) in 2020 with a score of 7.6 out of 10, has the highest antidepressant consumption in Europe with 142 daily doses (DDD). The United Kingdom follows Iceland with 128 DDDs and Switzerland with 119 DDDs.
Sweden, which ranked sixth in the WHP, has the fourth highest use of antidepressants with 105 DDDs per 1 000 inhabitants. Finland ranks seventh out of 24 countries with 82 DDDs per 1 000 inhabitants and Denmark comes in eighth place with 75 DDDs per 1 000 inhabitants.
Latvia which has the lowest consumption with 20 daily doses still ranks 34th in the WHP despite spending only $2 million on antidepressant drugs per 1 000 inhabitants annually compared to $4 million in Germany or $5 million in Spain or Italy or $3 million in Poland
In 2020, antidepressant drugs accounted for 4 percent of pharmaceutical sales in Portugal, compared to 2.7 per cent in Spain, 2.2 per cent in Austria, 1.9 per cent in Turkey and 1.4 per cent in Germany. That’s a huge difference
We’ve all been wondering: what’s going on? Is it just the economy? Or is there something else at play?
A new study published by the World Health Organization (WHO) has some answers for us. The researchers found that the prevalence of chronic depression in Europe is rising fast—and it’s not just happening in one country or another: it’s happening everywhere.
The survey results released by Eurostat provide some insights into this research—but they aren’t comprehensive enough to give us a clear picture of what’s going on across Europe as a whole.
That’s why we need more research like this if we’re going to understand how COVID is affecting our mental health and how we can help ourselves and others deal with this crisis together.
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