Psychological Medicine

Research Article

Symptoms of depression in two communities

George W. Comstocka1 c1 and Knud J. Helsinga1

a1 Department of Epidemiology, School of Hygiene and Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA


Histories of depression-related symptoms were obtained from 3845 randomly selected adult residents of Kansas City, Missouri, and Washington County, Maryland. Depressed persons were slightly more common in Kansas City than in Washington County but within the latter area no urban–rural differences were observed. More depressed persons were found among blacks than among whites. Slightly more white females than males were depressed; no significant differences were found between black females and males. After adjustment for the effects of other independent variables, the probability of having symptoms of depression was highest among persons who were young adults, unmarried, not employed outside the home, poorly paid, and not well educated.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr George W. Comstock, Training Center for Public Health Research, Box 2067, Hagerstown, MD 21740, USA