The burden of major depressive disorder in the Middle East and North Africa region, 1990-2019

Saeid Safiri, Seyed Ehsan Mousavi, Seyed Aria Nejadghaderi, Maryam Noori, Mark J.M. Sullman, Ali Asghar Kolahi, Reza Shekarriz-Foumani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the leading causes of disability. We aimed to report the MDD attributable prevalence, incidence and years lived with disability (YLDs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region from 1990 to 2019 by age, sex and socio-demographic index (SDI). Methods: Publicly available data on the burden of MDD were retrieved from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study 2019 for the 21 countries in MENA. The counts and age-standardised rates (per 100,000) were presented, along with their corresponding 95% uncertainty intervals. Results: In 2019, MDD had an age-standardised point prevalence of 3322.1 and an incidence rate of 4921.7 per 100,000 population in MENA. Furthermore, there were 4.1 million YLDs in 2019. However, there were no substantial changes in the MDD burden over the period 1990-2019. In 2019, Palestine had the highest burden of MDD. The highest prevalence, incidence and YLDs attributable to MDD were found in the 35-39 age group. In 2019, the YLD rate in MENA was higher than the global rate for almost all age groups. Furthermore, there was a broadly negative association between the YLD rate and SDI. Conclusion: The study highlights the need to prevent the disorder using a multidisciplinary approach and for the provision of cost-effective treatments for those affected, in order to increase their quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Neuropsychiatrica
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Prevalence
  • Years lived with disability


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