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Global Health
July 19, 2016

Global Burden of Mental Illness in China and India

JAMA. 2016;316(3):259. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.9025

About one-third of the global burden of mental illnesses is found in China and India, greater than all developed countries put together, according to an analysis by an international group of researchers in the first of a series of articles examining the status of mental health in China and India (Charlson FJ et al. Lancet. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30590-6 [published online May 18, 2016]).

The investigators used data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 to estimate the disease burden associated with mental, neurological, and substance use disorders in these 2 countries and to compare these findings with those from developed and developing regions in the world. The analysis revealed that depressive and anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses, for which very few people ever seek treatment. Substance abuse disorders were more common in men than in women, and dementia is a growing problem for both countries.

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