Spatial distribution of individuals with symptoms of depression in a periurban area in Lima: an example from Peru Academic Article uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: To map the geographical distribution and spatial clustering of depressive symptoms cases in an area of Lima, Peru. METHODS: Presence of depressive symptoms suggesting a major depressive episode was assessed using a short version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Data were obtained from a census conducted in 2010. One participant per selected household (aged 18 years and above, living more than 6 months in the area) was included. Residence latitude, longitude, and elevation were captured using a GPS device. The prevalence of depressive symptoms was estimated, and relative risks (RRs) were calculated to identify areas of significantly higher and lower geographical concentrations of depressive symptoms. RESULTS: Data from 7946 participants, 28.3% male, mean age 39.4 (SD, 13.9) years, were analyzed. The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 17.0% (95% confidence interval = 16.2%-17.8%). Three clusters with high prevalence of depressive symptoms (primary cluster: RR = 1.82; P = .003 and secondary: RR = 2.83; P = .004 and RR = 5.92; P = .01), and two clusters with significantly low prevalence (primary: RR = 0.23; P = .016 and secondary: RR = 0; P = .035), were identified. Further adjustment by potential confounders confirmed the high prevalence clusters but also identified newer ones. CONCLUSIONS: Screening strategies for depression, in combination with mapping techniques, may be useful tools to target interventions in resource-limited areas.


  • Montori, Victor
  • Ruiz-Grosso, Paulo
  • Miranda, J Jaime
  • Gilman, Robert H
  • Walker, Blake Byron
  • Carrasco-Escobar, Gabriel
  • Varela-Gaona, Marco
  • Diez-Canseco, Francisco
  • Huicho, Luis
  • Checkley, William
  • Bernabe-Ortiz, Antonio

publication date

  • February 2016