Or rather, in the United Kingdom, ECT use on younger people is declining more rapidly than it is on older people.
Thirty years ago, when the last detailed survey of ECT use in Britain was carried out, the average age of people undergoing ECT was about fifty, while the latest figures from Scotland give an average age of 59.
Here is a detailed breakdown according to age from the 1980 survey. The figures come from a sample of 2507 courses, about one twelfth of all ECT used in that year.
By 2002, ECT use had declined by more than half. People under the age of 45 now made up about a quarter of the total, while in 1980 they had made up about one third. People over the age of 75, who had made up less than ten per cent of the total in 1980, now accounted for over 20 per cent. While ECT use on people over the age of 75 decreased by only a small amount between 1980 and 2002, its use on people under the age of 25 fell by nearly 90 per cent. (These figures are only approximate estimates, as different age-bands were used in 1980 and 2002).