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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Temporal associations between physical illnesses and mental disorders—Results from the Wave 2 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC)


Clinical and epidemiologic evidence has documented the significant associations between medical illnesses and psychiatric disorders. However, extensive research has focused on the comorbidity of medical conditions and depression, and most were cross sectional, focused on clinical samples, and grounded in DSM-III or DSM-III-R diagnostic criteria.

The current prospective investigation examined associations among medical conditions at baseline and incident psychiatric disorders over a 3-year follow-up, using data from Waves 1 and 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC).

Overall, the 3-year incidence rates of DSM-IV substance use, mood and anxiety disorders ranged from 0.65% (bipolar II) to 5.2% (alcohol abuse). Multiple regression analysis was conducted to examine the prospective physical–mental associations, while controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, psychological stress and health-related risk factors, and comorbid physical and psychiatric disorders.

The present study represents, to our knowledge the largest population-based prospective study examining the physical–mental associations. Our results showed distinctly different patterns of comorbidity of medical illnesses with substance use, mood, and anxiety disorders. Stomach ulcer/gastritis, hypertension and arthritis emerged to be significant predictors of incident psychiatric disorders.

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