Prevalence of depression in England has risen, latest figures show

The prevalence of depression has risen in England, seeing the greatest annual increase among nearly two-dozen monitored conditions, the latest figures show.

While obesity and hypertension also saw some of the highest rates, the greatest year-on-year change was for depression, NHS Digital said, as it published figures up to the end of the first week into the lockdown period.

Prevalence of the condition rose almost 0.8 percentage points from 10.77% in 2018-19 to 11.56% in the last year.

NHS Digital’s annual Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) report, showing the recorded prevalence of 21 conditions between April 1 2019 to March 31 2020, was published on Thursday.

The other highest prevalence rates were for hypertension (14.1%) and obesity (10.5%).

Last month Prime Minister Boris Johnson launched a new strategy to tackle obesity while acknowledging that he was “way overweight” when he was admitted to intensive care in April as he battled Covid-19 and was put on oxygen.

The data was compiled from information provided by 96.2% of general practices in England, NHS Digital said.