Antidepressant use among Asians in the United States

Objectives: We examined the prevalence and predictors of past-year antidepressant use in a nationally representative sample of Asian Americans and non-Latino Whites. Methods: Analyses of 12-month antidepressant medication use were based on data from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys that surveyed Asian (Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, and others; N=2,284) and non-Latino White (N=6,696) household residents ages 18 years and older in the 48 contiguous United States and Hawaii. Results: Prevalence rates for 12-month antidepressant use for Asians with major depression ranged from 8.7% among Vietnamese to 17% among Chinese respondents. Compared to non-Latino Whites (32.4%), all Asians (10.9%) meeting criteria for 12-month depressive and anxiety disorders, but especially Filipinos (8.8%) were less likely to report past-year antidepressant use. Conclusions: We found disparities in past-year antidepressant use among all the examined major Asian groups meeting criteria for 12-month depressive and anxiety disorders. These disparities were not explained by mental health need or socioeconomic factors that enable access to care. Depression and Anxiety, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.