From a research paper

Percentages and means for baseline characteristics and 2-year course indicators were provided across age groups. Additionally, these characteristics were associated with continuous age in simple regression analyses, with age as the outcome measure. For all four 2-year depression indicators, we provided unadjusted percentages, means, and incidence rates across all age categories. Again, associations between these indicators and continuous age were also assessed with simple linear regression analyses. We examined associations between continuous age (per 10-year increase) and presence of a depression diagnosis after 2 years with logistic regression.

I guess "presence of a depression diagnosis" means "true", "that candidate is suffering from depression and anxiety disorders".

Is my understanding correct?

Is "presence of a diagnosis" a common phrase in medical science?

  • 2
    This is standard English, not medical terminology.
    – Bryan Krause
    Jun 15, 2020 at 18:05
  • 2
    "[P]resence of a diagnosis" is not a common phrase in medicine; "absence of a diagnosis", though, is unfortunately common. "presence of a depression diagnosis" would be fine for a research article, and yes, it means the same thing as "presence of a diagnosis of depression". Jun 17, 2020 at 17:14
  • @anongoodnurse Thank you. So, "absence of a diagnosis of depression" is more natural, right?
    – PutBere
    Jun 18, 2020 at 5:06
  • 1
    @PutBere - Yes, that's correct ("presence or absence of a diagnosis of sounds better. In the context of a highly technical(?) research paper on some aspect of a diagnosis of depression, the author's use was fine, but it reads awkwardly out of context. Substitute a different illness and it sounds better, e.g., "presence (or absence) of a myocardial infarct diagnosis". There's less awkwardness (to me) in that phrase, but they are equally correct. Jun 18, 2020 at 5:17
  • The presence of a diagnosis does not indicate that the person suffers from depression, it merely says that there such a diagnosis was made. All methods of diagnosis suffer from various amounts of (hopefully small) false positives.
    – am301
    Nov 6, 2020 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


This means that the diagnosis has been made and is present. As for whether it is a common phrase, this might depend on where you are looking: pubmed.gov does find the phrase, while scholar.google.com does (e. g.: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=%22presence+of+a+diagnosis%22&btnG=).

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