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      The Global Burden of Mental, Neurological and Substance Use Disorders: An Analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010

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          The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010), estimated that a substantial proportion of the world’s disease burden came from mental, neurological and substance use disorders. In this paper, we used GBD 2010 data to investigate time, year, region and age specific trends in burden due to mental, neurological and substance use disorders.


          For each disorder, prevalence data were assembled from systematic literature reviews. DisMod-MR, a Bayesian meta-regression tool, was used to model prevalence by country, region, age, sex and year. Prevalence data were combined with disability weights derived from survey data to estimate years lived with disability (YLDs). Years lost to premature mortality (YLLs) were estimated by multiplying deaths occurring as a result of a given disorder by the reference standard life expectancy at the age death occurred. Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) were computed as the sum of YLDs and YLLs.


          In 2010, mental, neurological and substance use disorders accounted for 10.4% of global DALYs, 2.3% of global YLLs and, 28.5% of global YLDs, making them the leading cause of YLDs. Mental disorders accounted for the largest proportion of DALYs (56.7%), followed by neurological disorders (28.6%) and substance use disorders (14.7%). DALYs peaked in early adulthood for mental and substance use disorders but were more consistent across age for neurological disorders. Females accounted for more DALYs in all mental and neurological disorders, except for mental disorders occurring in childhood, schizophrenia, substance use disorders, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy where males accounted for more DALYs. Overall DALYs were highest in Eastern Europe/Central Asia and lowest in East Asia/the Pacific.


          Mental, neurological and substance use disorders contribute to a significant proportion of disease burden. Health systems can respond by implementing established, cost effective interventions, or by supporting the research necessary to develop better prevention and treatment options.

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          Most cited references 16

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          GBD 2010: design, definitions, and metrics.

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            Healthy life expectancy for 187 countries, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden Disease Study 2010.

            Healthy life expectancy (HALE) summarises mortality and non-fatal outcomes in a single measure of average population health. It has been used to compare health between countries, or to measure changes over time. These comparisons can inform policy questions that depend on how morbidity changes as mortality decreases. We characterise current HALE and changes over the past two decades in 187 countries. Using inputs from the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2010, we assessed HALE for 1990 and 2010. We calculated HALE with life table methods, incorporating estimates of average health over each age interval. Inputs from GBD 2010 included age-specific information for mortality rates and prevalence of 1160 sequelae, and disability weights associated with 220 distinct health states relating to these sequelae. We computed estimates of average overall health for each age group, adjusting for comorbidity with a Monte Carlo simulation method to capture how multiple morbidities can combine in an individual. We incorporated these estimates in the life table by the Sullivan method to produce HALE estimates for each population defined by sex, country, and year. We estimated the contributions of changes in child mortality, adult mortality, and disability to overall change in population health between 1990 and 2010. In 2010, global male HALE at birth was 58·3 years (uncertainty interval 56·7-59·8) and global female HALE at birth was 61·8 years (60·1-63·4). HALE increased more slowly than did life expectancy over the past 20 years, with each 1-year increase in life expectancy at birth associated with a 0·8-year increase in HALE. Across countries in 2010, male HALE at birth ranged from 27·9 years (17·3-36·5) in Haiti, to 68·8 years (67·0-70·4) in Japan. Female HALE at birth ranged from 37·1 years (26·9-43·7) in Haiti, to 71·7 years (69·7-73·4) in Japan. Between 1990 and 2010, male HALE increased by 5 years or more in 42 countries compared with 37 countries for female HALE, while male HALE decreased in 21 countries and 11 for female HALE. Between countries and over time, life expectancy was strongly and positively related to number of years lost to disability. This relation was consistent between sexes, in cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis, and when assessed at birth, or at age 50 years. Changes in disability had small effects on changes in HALE compared with changes in mortality. HALE differs substantially between countries. As life expectancy has increased, the number of healthy years lost to disability has also increased in most countries, consistent with the expansion of morbidity hypothesis, which has implications for health planning and health-care expenditure. Compared with substantial progress in reduction of mortality over the past two decades, relatively little progress has been made in reduction of the overall effect of non-fatal disease and injury on population health. HALE is an attractive indicator for monitoring health post-2015. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              The Burden Attributable to Mental and Substance Use Disorders as Risk Factors for Suicide: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010

              Background The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010) identified mental and substance use disorders as the 5th leading contributor of burden in 2010, measured by disability adjusted life years (DALYs). This estimate was incomplete as it excluded burden resulting from the increased risk of suicide captured elsewhere in GBD 2010's mutually exclusive list of diseases and injuries. Here, we estimate suicide DALYs attributable to mental and substance use disorders. Methods Relative-risk estimates of suicide due to mental and substance use disorders and the global prevalence of each disorder were used to estimate population attributable fractions. These were adjusted for global differences in the proportion of suicide due to mental and substance use disorders compared to other causes then multiplied by suicide DALYs reported in GBD 2010 to estimate attributable DALYs (with 95% uncertainty). Results Mental and substance use disorders were responsible for 22.5 million (14.8–29.8 million) of the 36.2 million (26.5–44.3 million) DALYs allocated to suicide in 2010. Depression was responsible for the largest proportion of suicide DALYs (46.1% (28.0%–60.8%)) and anorexia nervosa the lowest (0.2% (0.02%–0.5%)). DALYs occurred throughout the lifespan, with the largest proportion found in Eastern Europe and Asia, and males aged 20–30 years. The inclusion of attributable suicide DALYs would have increased the overall burden of mental and substance use disorders (assigned to them in GBD 2010 as a direct cause) from 7.4% (6.2%–8.6%) to 8.3% (7.1%–9.6%) of global DALYs, and would have changed the global ranking from 5th to 3rd leading cause of burden. Conclusions Capturing the suicide burden attributable to mental and substance use disorders allows for more accurate estimates of burden. More consideration needs to be given to interventions targeted to populations with, or at risk for, mental and substance use disorders as an effective strategy for suicide prevention.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                6 February 2015
                : 10
                : 2
                [1 ]University of Queensland, School of Public Health, Herston, Queensland, Australia
                [2 ]Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, Wacol, Queensland, Australia
                [3 ]University of Washington, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Seattle, Washington, United States of America
                [4 ]UNSW Australia, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, New South Wales, Australia
                [5 ]University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Victoria, Australia
                [6 ]Faculty of Health and Environmental Studies, National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand
                “Mario Negri” Institute for Pharmacological Research, ITALY
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: HAW AJF LD TV. Analyzed the data: HAW AJF LD TV. Wrote the paper: HAW AJF LD VF TV.


                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 3, Pages: 14
                HAW and AJF are supported by the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research which receives its funding from the Queensland Department of Health. LD is supported by an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Principal Research Fellowship (#1041742). The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW Australia is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Substance Misuse Prevention and Service Improvements Grants Fund and an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellowship. TV receives funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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