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From The JAMA Network
September 13, 2016

A Public Health Perspective on Mental and Medical Comorbidity

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
JAMA. 2016;316(10):1104-1105. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.10486

The increasing prevalence of chronic illnesses has been accompanied by a concomitant increase in comorbidity, the co-occurrence of 2 or more chronic health conditions. Co-occurrence of mental and general medical disorders is among the most common and disabling combinations, with approximately 30% of individuals with comorbidity having both a mental and a physical disorder.1 Other related problems such as substance abuse disorders and social disadvantage can both contribute to comorbidity and exacerbate its effect. The high rates and burden of comorbidity highlight the need to better understand its clinical ramifications from both an individual patient and population perspective.

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