Depression Increased After Gulf Oil Spill

PRINCETON, N.J., Sept. 30 (UPI) — Those who live in Gulf Coast-facing counties report an increase of more than 25 percent in depression diagnoses after the BP oil spill, a U.S. survey indicates.

The Emotional Health Index, one of six sub-indexes that make up the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being — which tracks U.S. well-being — indicates residents of Gulf Coast-facing counties experienced a decline in their overall emotional health following the BP oil spill.


The findings are based on 2,598 interviews conducted from Jan. 2-Aug. 6 with residents of 25 Gulf Coast-facing counties from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas — and of these interviews 1,239 occurred after the oil spill occurred on April 20.

During the same period, 30,657 interviews were conducted with residents of inland counties of those Gulf Coast states and 179,435 in non-Gulf states as a part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The increase in diagnoses reveals that clinical depression along the Gulf coastline was climbing at a time when it was flat throughout the rest of the country, Gallup officials say in a statement.

The margin of error ranges from 3 percentage points, 0.9 percentage points and 0.4 percentage points.

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