Watch Out for Winter Blues: Canadians More Inclined to Experience Depression, Mental Health Issues – GfK Survey

  • Canadians ranked highest in the Americas region to experience
    depression, anxiety and other mental health issues in study of 22
  • Almost one in three Canadian women reported experiencing
    depression, anxiety or other mental health issues in the past year
  • Findings reveal top five health concerns for Canadians and gender
    differences for many ailments

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As Canada heads into another winter season, Canadians need to be mindful
of the winter blues, in addition to their seasonal flu shots and winter
health precautions.

A survey by GfK on the most common health complaints revealed that one
in four Canadians have experienced depression, anxiety or mental health
issues in the past year. In Canadian women, that incidence is even
higher, with almost one in three saying they have experienced a mental
health issue in the past 12 months.

These are findings from an online survey that asked over 27,000 people
in 22 countries which health conditions from a given list1
they had experienced in the last 12 months.

Cold, cough and flu top the list of most common ailments experienced by
Canadians (48%), followed by muscle pain due to over exertion or injury.
Almost one-third of Canadians also reported having issues with sleep
deprivation; insomnia or sleeping problems ranked third among 13
ailments. Incidence was slightly higher for women, with over one in
three experiencing problems sleeping, while only one in four men
reporting the same.

A pattern of gender differences

For almost all the conditions listed in the survey, women have a higher
likelihood of having experienced them in the last 12 months than men.

For example, while chronic back pain and heartburn rounded out the top
five most common health complaints for men, with nearly one in four
experiencing them in the past year, more women had reported experiencing
these ailments at 29% for chronic back pain and 28% for heartburn.

For more information on GfK’s international research into people’s
attitudes and behavior, please contact

About the study

GfK conducted an online survey with over 27,000 consumers aged 15 or
older in 22 countries. Fieldwork was carried out over the summer 2015
and the data have been weighted to reflect the demographic composition
of the online population age 15+ in each market. The countries included
are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech
Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands,
Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and US.

1The survey question asked: “Which of the following
conditions have you experienced in the past 12 months? (Select all that
apply): Skin conditions (such as psoriasis, eczema, acne) / Allergies /
Depression, anxiety or other mental health issues / Chronic back or
joint pain / Cold, cough, sore throat, upper respiratory infection, flu
or influenza / Diabetes, pre-diabetes / Vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal
cramps or other stomach ailments / Migraine or severe headaches /
Heartburn or acid reflux / High cholesterol, high blood pressure or
hypertension / Obesity or overweight / Insomnia, problems sleeping,
sleep disorders / Muscle or joint soreness or pain due to over-exertion
or injury / None of these”

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information
that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000
market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing
data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global
insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100
countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns
big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their
competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

For more information, please visit
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Marela Lucero-Lee
T 647-837-1260
VP, MarComms, GfK
T 908-875-9844