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.
For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.