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All U.S. Adults, Including Pregnant Women, Should Be Screened For Depression, Panel

Update Date: Feb 01, 2016 10:37 AM EST

All U.S. adults, including pregnant and postpartum women, need to be examined by the doctor to check out depression, says a recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Earlier recommendations by the group in 2009 did not display enough evidence that could suggest or discourage pregnant or postpartum women from being studied for depression, according to Live Science.

In a "B grade recommendation" for depression, scientists gave moderate to substantial net benefits for them.

By 2020, mental illness is likely to move up from the fifth to the second place, as the main cause of death and disability, says the World Health Organization (WHO), according to scienceworldreport.

"Depression has a major effect on quality of life for the patient and affects family members, especially children," the group noted. Those who got a "positive" screening result, or showed symptoms of depression, would then be subjected to more assessments that would show their medical condition.

With the guidelines suggesting that adults aged 18 and above should be screened for depression, the optimal timing has not been determined.

Cognitive behavioral therapy and various kinds of talk therapy might help women who suffer from depression. Although the use of antidepressants during pregnancy can harm a fetus, the risks are minor, say the study authors. Still, more research is needed to determine the problem and their benefits.

The study is published in the journal JAMA.

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