Narrator: This is Science Today. Previous studies have linked depression to worse health outcomes. In a study of young adults, researcher Mary Whooley of the University of California, San Francisco found one explanation for worsening health could be that depression is a predictor of higher unemployment rates and income loss.
Whooley: We found that having depression at the start of the study was associated with loss of employment and income during the following five year. In fact, over the five-year study, 33% of participants with depressive symptoms reported new unemployment, compared with 21% of those without depressive symptoms. And 17% of those with depressive symptoms reported income loss, compared with only 7% of those without depressive symptoms.
Narrator: Whooley says these figures should influence depression treatment policies in the workplace.
Whooley: It's possible that improving mental health benefits would end up being worth the cost by improving the work functioning of the people who get those benefits.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.