HealthDay News — Mental disorders are associated with an increased risk for 10 chronic physical conditions, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Kate M. Scott, PhD, from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, and colleagues examined the correlations between 16 temporally prior Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, mental disorders and subsequent onset of 10 chronic physical conditions. Eighteen surveys of community-dwelling adults were conducted in 17 countries (47 609 individuals) from January 2001 through December 2011.

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The researchers found that most of the correlations between 16 mental disorders and subsequent onset or diagnosis of 10 physical conditions were statistically significant (odds ratios, 1.2 to 3.6). 

After adjustment for mental disorder comorbidity, the associations were attenuated; significant associations remained for mood, anxiety, substance use, and impulse control disorders with increasing odds of onset of diagnosis of between 7 and all 10 types of physical conditions (odds ratios for one mental disorder, 1.3 to 1.8; odds ratios for 5 or more mental disorders, 1.9 to 4.0). 

Specific mental disorders correlated with 1.5 to 13.3% of physical condition onsets, in population-attributable risk estimates.

“Interventions aimed at the primary prevention of chronic physical diseases should optimally be integrated into treatment of all mental disorders in primary and secondary care from early in the disorder course,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, several of which provided study funding.


Scott KM, Lim C, Al-Hamzawi A, et al. Association of Mental Disorders With Subsequent Chronic Physical Conditions: World Mental Health Surveys From 17 Countries. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015; doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2688.