|Basic InformationMore InformationTestsLatest News|Studies Question Link Between Mom's Antidepressant Use, Autism in KidsMortality Up With Depression Just Before Breast Cancer DiagnosisDepressive Disorders Up With Antimuscarinics for OABTrauma as a Teen May Boost Depression Risk Around MenopauseBlood Test Promising for ID of Early Depression, SchizophreniaBlood Test Might Someday Distinguish Early Depression, SchizophreniaHold That Pose: Yoga May Ease Tough DepressionDepression May Hasten Death in Years After Heart DiagnosisAntidepressant Efficacy Varies for Depressive Symptom ClustersDepressed Psoriasis Patients at Higher Risk of Psoriatic ArthritisInternet-Based CBT Effective for Depressive SymptomsCan Depression Up Odds for Arthritis Linked to Psoriasis?Postpartum Depressive Symptoms Fell in 2004 to 2012Hey Fellas, Depression Can Strike New Dads, TooDepression Often Untreated in Dialysis PatientsGDM Found to Increase Risk for Postpartum DepressionPostpartum Depression Affects New Dads, TooPanic Disorder May Up Odds of Depression Rx Side EffectsSometimes the Holidays Aren't Always JollyPilots Suffer Depression, Suicidal Thoughts at Fairly High RatesMore Than 1 in 10 Pilots Suffer From Depression, Survey FindsSelf-Care Tools Cut Depression in AMD, Diabetic RetinopathyClinical Antecedents of Adolescent-Onset MDD IdentifiedAge-Related Cataract Linked to Depressive SymptomsDepression, Suicide Ideation Prevalent in Medical Students2 Out of 3 Depressed Teens Gain Lasting Benefits From TherapyAntidepressants + Exercise Beneficial in Late-Life DepressionDepressed Women Less Likely to Get Best Breast Cancer Care: StudyDepression on the Rise Among U.S. Teens, Especially GirlsMemantine + Sertraline Effective for Major Depressive DisorderDepressive Symptoms Linked to Functional Status in CADHigh Rate of Antidepressant Use After CancerResearchers Find Antidepressant Bupropion Crosses PlacentaSome Antihypertensives Linked to Depression, Bipolar RiskMom-to-Be's Antidepressant Use May Be Tied to Speech Issues in ChildDepression Can Fuel Heart Disease in Midlife Women: StudyDepression Common in Patients With Chronic Angina'The Pill' May Raise Depression RiskFacebook Bullying Can Cause DepressionStroke Survivors Often Struggle With DepressionMany Cases of Depression in Adults Not Being TreatedMany Depressed Adults Not Getting Treatment: StudyMajor Depressive Disorder Ups Acute MI Risk in HIV-InfectedPostpartum Depression Can Be ID'd During Infant HospitalizationDepression Common After Time Spent in ICUStudy Finds Links Between Chronic Pain, Depression in CouplesDepression Can Stalk Families Through GenerationsScientists Spot 15 Regions of Human DNA Linked to DepressionBehavioral Activation Therapy Viable Option in DepressionCould New 'Talk Therapy' Cut Cost of Treating Depression?Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
More Than 1 in 10 Pilots Suffer From Depression, Survey Finds
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Dec 15th 2016
THURSDAY, Dec. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- More than one-tenth of professional airline pilots may suffer from depression, and a small percentage might experience suicidal thoughts, a new survey reveals.
The findings come in the wake of the Germanwings air crash in 2015. In that tragedy, a co-pilot with depression deliberately crashed an airliner in the French Alps, killing all 150 people onboard.
"We found that many pilots currently flying are managing depressive symptoms, and it may be that they are not seeking treatment due to the fear of negative career impacts," said senior study author Joseph Allen. He is an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
"There is a veil of secrecy around mental health issues in the cockpit. By using an anonymous survey, we were able to guard against people's fears of reporting due to stigma and job discrimination," he explained in a Harvard news release.
In the online survey, conducted between April and December of 2015, the researchers asked just over 1,800 pilots in the United States, Canada and Australia about their mental health.
The findings showed that 12.6 percent of the pilots met the criteria for likely depression and 4 percent reported having suicidal thoughts within the previous two weeks.
Male pilots were more likely than female pilots to report that they had instances "nearly every day" of loss of interest, feeling like a failure, difficulty concentrating and thinking they would be better off dead.
Meanwhile, compared with male pilots, female pilots were more likely to have had at least one day of poor mental health in the previous month, and were more likely to have been diagnosed with depression, according to the researchers.
In addition, depression was more common among pilots who used more sleep aid medications and those who were subjected to sexual or verbal harassment, the investigators found.
According to study first author Alex Wu, the study "hints at the prevalence of depression among pilots -- a group of professionals that is responsible for thousands of lives every day -- and underscores the importance of accurately assessing pilots' mental health and increasing support for preventative treatment." Wu is a doctoral student at Harvard.
The study was published online Dec. 14 in the journal Environmental Health.
About 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression, the researchers said. But less than half receive treatment, partly because of the social stigma, according to the World Health Organization.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about depression.
This article: Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.