Mental health disorders will affect 50% of the world’s population by age 75, study

5 September 2023
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by Madan Thapa
Madan Thapa

Madan Thapa

Madan S Thapa is a healthcare consultant and also a seasoned pharma editor, with over 10+ years...

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Mental health disorders are pervasive and affect a significant portion of the global population.

Just how pervasive is it? 

A new global study from The University of Queensland and Harvard Medical School throws up alarming numbers.

According to the study, 50% of the world’s population will have a mental health disorder by the age of 75. The lifetime risk for males stands at 46% while for females it is 53%. 

The researchers analyzed data from 29 countries from over 150,000 adults between 2001 and 2022. This was the largest cross-collaborative study done through multiple in-person interviews. 

The most common were mood disorders such as major depression or anxiety,” says Professor John McGrath, one of the authors of the study and Conjoint Professor at Queensland Brain Institute. 

The researchers also found that men and women were at risk for different mental health disorders. 

Women were at higher risk for depression, specific phobia (a disabling anxiety that interferes with daily life), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Men were at higher risk for alcohol abuse, specific phobia, and depression. 

Mental health in India 

According to the 2022 Global Burden of disease study, mental health issues constitute around 15% of years of life lost. And India has one of the biggest numbers of people with mental health problems and over 80% don’t seek professional help.

As per a 2017 report from the World Health Organization more than 56 million Indians live with depression and another 38 million have anxiety disorders. 

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