Prevalence of mental disorders

Prevalence of mental disorders

The prevalence of mental disorder has been studied around the world, providing estimates on how common mental disorders are. Different criteria or thresholds of severity have sometimes been used. National and international figures are typically estimated by large-scale surveys of self-reported symptoms up to the time of assessment; sometimes a figure is calculated for the occurrence of disorder in the week, month or year prior to assessment - a point or period prevalence; sometimes the figure is for a person's lifetime prior to assessment - the so-called lifetime prevalence.

Numerous large-scale surveys of the prevalence of mental disorders in adults in the general population have been carried out since the 1980s based on self-reported symptoms assessed by standardized structured interviews, usually carried out over the phone.

Mental disorders have been found to be common, with over a third of people in most countries reporting sufficient criteria to be diagnosed at some point in their life. [WHO International Consortium in Psychiatric Epidemiology (2000) [ Cross-national comparisons of the prevalences and correlates of mental disorders] "Bulletin of the World Health Organization" v.78 n.4] The World Health Organization reported in 2001 that about 450 million people worldwide suffer from some form of mental disorder or brain condition, and that one in four people meet criteria at some point in their life. [ [ WHO | The world health report] ] [ [ Mental Health Care in the Developing World] ] [ [ Mental problems 'hit one in four'] ]

The World Health Organization is currently undertaking a global survey of 26 countries in all regions of the world, based on ICD and DSM criteria. [] The first published figures on the 14 country surveys completed to date, indicate that, of those disorders assessed, anxiety disorders are the most common in all but 1 country (prevalence in the prior 12-month period of 2.4% to 18.2%) and mood disorders next most common in all but 2 countries (12-month prevalence of 0.8% to 9.6%), while substance disorders (0.1%-6.4%) and impulse-control disorders (0.0%-6.8%) were consistently less prevalent. The United States, Colombia, the Netherlands and Ukraine tended to have higher prevalence estimates across most classes of disorder, while Nigeria, Shanghai and Italy were consistently low, and prevalence was lower in Asian countries in general. Cases of disorder were rated as mild (prevalence of 1.8%-9.7%), moderate (prevalence of 0.5%-9.4%) and serious (prevalence of 0.4%-7.7%). [WHO World Mental Health Survey Consortium. (2004) [ Prevalence, severity, and unmet need for treatment of mental disorders in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys.] "JAMA." Jun 2;291(21):2581-90.] However, these are widely believed to be underestimates, due to poor diagnosis (especially in countries without affordable access to mental health services) and low reporting rates, in part because of the predominant use of self-report data, rather than semi-structured instruments such as the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID); actual lifetime prevalence rates for mental disorders are estimated to be between 65% and 85%.

A review that pooled surveys in different countries up to 2004 found overall average prevalence estimates for any anxiety disorder of 10.6% (in the 12 months prior to assessment) and 16.6% (in lifetime prior to assessment), but that rates for individual disorders varied widely. Women had generally higher prevalence rates than men, but the magnitude of the difference varied. [Somers JM, Goldner EM, Waraich P, Hsu L. (2006) [ Prevalence and incidence studies of anxiety disorders: a systematic review of the literature.] "Can J Psychiatry." Feb;51(2):100-13.] A review that pooled surveys of mood disorders in different countries up to 2000 found 12-month prevalence rates of 4.1% for major depressive disorder (MDD), 2% for dysthymic disorder and 0.72% for bipolar 1 disorder. The average lifetime prevalence found was 6.7% for MDD (with a relatively low lifetime prevalence rate in higher-quality studies, compared to the rates typically highlighted of 5%-12% for men and 10%-25% for women), and rates of 3.6% for dysthymia and 0.8% for Bipolar 1. [Waraich P, Goldner EM, Somers JM, Hsu L. (2004) [ Prevalence and incidence studies of mood disorders: a systematic review of the literature.] "Can J Psychiatry." Feb;49(2):124-38.]

Previous widely cited large-scale surveys in the United States were the Epidemiological Catchment Area (ECA) survey and subsequent National Comorbidity Survey (NCS). The NCS was replicated and updated between 2000 and 2003 and indicated that, of those groups of disorders assessed, nearly half of Americans (46.4%) reported meeting criteria at some point in their life for either a DSM-IV anxiety disorder (28.8%), mood disorder (20.8%), impulse-control disorder (24.8%) or substance use disorders (14.6%). Half of all lifetime cases had started by age 14 years and 3/4 by age 24 years. [Kessler RC, Berglund P, Demler O, Jin R, Merikangas KR, Walters EE. (2005) [ Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.] "Arch Gen Psychiatry". Jun;62(6):593-602.] In the prior 12-month period only, around a quarter (26.2%) met criteria for any disorder - anxiety disorders 18.1%; mood disorders 9.5%; impulse control disorders 8.9%; and substance use disorders 3.8%. A substantial minority (23%) met criteria for more than two disorders. A minority (22.3%) of cases were classed as serious, 37.3% as moderate and 40.4% as mild. [Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Merikangas KR, Walters, EE. (2005) [ Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.] "Arch Gen Psychiatry." Jun;62(6):617-27.] [US National Institute of Mental Health (2006) [ The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America] Retrieved May 2007] A 2004 cross-European study found that approximately one in four people reported meeting criteria at some point in their life for one of the DSM-IV disorders assessed, which included mood disorders (13.9%), anxiety disorders (13.6%) or alcohol disorder (5.2%). Approximately one in ten met criteria within a 12-month period. Women and younger people of either gender showed more cases of disorder [ESEMeD/MHEDEA 2000 Investigators, European Study of the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD) Project. (2004) [ Prevalence of mental disorders in Europe: results from the European Study of the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD) project.] "Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica" Suppl. (420):21-7.]

A 2005 review of 27 studies have found that 27% of adult Europeans is or has been affected by at least one mental disorder in the past 12 months. It was also found that the most frequent disorders were anxiety disorders, depressive, somatoform and substance dependence disorders. [Wittchen, H.U. and Jacobi, F. (2005). [ Size and burden of mental disorders in Europe - a critical review and appraisal of 27 studies] . "European Neuropsychopharmacology, 15, 4," pp. 357-76.]

A 2005 review of prior surveys in 46 countries on the prevalence of schizophrenic disorders, including a prior 10-country WHO survey, found an average (median) figure of 0.4% for lifetime prevalence up to the point of assessment and 0.3% in the 12-month period prior to assessment. A related figure not given in other studies (known as lifetime morbid risk), reported to be an accurate statement of how many people would theoretically develop schizophrenia at any point in life regardless of time of assessment, was found to be “about seven to eight individuals per 1,000.” (0.7/0.8%). The prevalence of schizophrenia was consistently lower in poorer countries than in richer countries (though not the incidence) but the prevalence did not differ between urban/rural areas or men/women (although incidence did). [Saha S, Chant D, Welham J, McGrath J. (2005) [ A systematic review of the prevalence of schizophrenia.] "PLoS Med." 2005 May;2(5):e141.]

Studies of the prevalence of personality disorders (PDs) have been fewer and smaller-scale, but a broader Norwegian survey found a similar overall prevalence of almost 1 in 7 (13.4%), based on meeting personality criteria over the prior five year period. Rates for specific disorders ranged from 0.8% to 2.8%, with rates differing across countries, and by gender, educational level and other factors. [Torgersen S, Kringlen E, Cramer V. (2001) [ The prevalence of personality disorders in a community sample.] "Arch Gen Psychiatry." 2001] A US survey that incidentally screened for personality disorder found an overall rate of 14.79%. [ Grant BF, Hasin DS, Stinson FS, Dawson DA,Chou SP, Ruan WJ, Pickering RP. (2004) [ Prevalence, correlates, and disability of personality disorders in the United States: results from the national epidemiologic survey on alcohol and related conditions.] "J Clin Psychiatry." Jul;65(7):948-58.]

Approximately 7% of a preschool pediatric sample were given a psychiatric diagnosis in one clinical study, and approximately 10% of 1- and 2-year-olds receiving developmental screening have been assessed as having significant emotional/behavioral problems based on parent and pediatrician reports. [Carter, AS., Briggs-Gowan, MJ. & Davis, NO. (2004) [ Assessment of young children's social-emotional development and psychopathology: recent advances and recommendations for practice.] "J Child Psychol Psychiatry." Jan;45(1):109-34.]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mental disorders diagnosed in childhood — Classification and external resources ICD 10 F70 F98 ICD 9 …   Wikipedia

  • Mental disorders and gender — Gender is associated with certain mental disorders, including[1] depression, anxiety and somatic complaints.[1] Major depression is twice as common in women.[1] The lifetime prevalence rate of alcohol dependence is more than twice as high in men …   Wikipedia

  • Causes of mental disorders — Main article: Mental disorder The causes of mental disorders are complex, and interact and vary according to the particular disorder and individual. Genetics, early development, drugs, a loss of a family member, disease or injury, neurocognitive… …   Wikipedia

  • Trauma model of mental disorders — Trauma models of mental disorder (alternatively called trauma models of psychopathology) emphasise the effects of psychological trauma, particularly in early development, as the key causal factor in the development of some or many psychiatric… …   Wikipedia

  • Mental disorder — Classification and external resources Eight women representing prominent mental diagnoses in the 19th century. (Armand Gautier) ICD 10 F …   Wikipedia

  • Mental health literacy — has been defined as “knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders which aid their recognition, management or prevention. Mental health literacy includes the ability to recognize specific disorders; knowing how to seek mental health information;… …   Wikipedia

  • mental disorder — Any illness with a psychological origin, manifested either in symptoms of emotional distress or in abnormal behaviour. Most mental disorders can be broadly classified as either psychoses or neuroses (see neurosis; psychosis). Psychoses (e.g.,… …   Universalium

  • Mental health — describes either a level of cognitive or emotional well being or an absence of a mental disorder.[1][2] From perspectives of the discipline of positive psychology or holism mental health may include an individual s ability to enjoy life and… …   Wikipedia

  • MENTAL ILLNESS — Man has been subject to mental illness from the earliest known times. The Bible makes frequent reference   to it among Jews, and describes recognizable types of mental disturbances. The reference in Leviticus 20:27, A man also or a woman that… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • mental health — It is estimated that there are 66.3 million people suffering from various forms of mental disorder in China (Murray and Lopez 1996a, 1996b). The majority of patients in psychiatric hospitals have schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders.… …   Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.