All adults should be regularly screened for depression, especially pregnant women and new mothers, government advisers said Tuesday.
The latest guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) are not a big change from previous recommendations, but they are a reminder to doctors and the 2010 Affordable Care Act requires health insurance companies to pay for the exams, NBC News reported.
Depression is very common. About 8 percent of kids age 12 and older and adults have depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disease-related disability in women around the world," the USPSTF adds in its report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
And about 9 percent of pregnant women and 10 percent of women who have just given birth suffer from depression, the group said.
"Maternal depression can affect offspring as well, leading to lower-quality interactions with the mother, higher rates of emotional and behavioral problems, worse social competence with peers, and poorer adjustment to school," it said.