Mental disorders and total mortality after 20 years in an adult general population sample

Ulrich John, Hans Jürgen Rumpf, Monika Hanke, Christian Meyer


BACKGROUND.: General population data on associations between mental disorders and total mortality are rare. The aim was to analyze whether the number of mental disorders, single substance use, mood, anxiety, somatoform or eating disorders during the lifetime and whether treatment utilization may predict time to death 20 years later in the general adult population. METHODS.: We used data from the Composite International Diagnostic Interview, which includes DSM-IV diagnoses for substance use, mood, anxiety, somatoform, and eating disorders, for a sample of 4,075 residents in Germany who were 18-64 years old in 1996. Twenty years later, mortality was ascertained using the public mortality database for 4,028 study participants. Cox proportional hazards models were applied for disorders that existed at any time in life before the interview. RESULTS.: The data revealed increased hazard ratios (HRs) for number of mental disorders (three or more; HR 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-1.9) and for single disorders (alcohol dependence, dysthymia, panic disorder with agoraphobia, and hypochondriasis), with the reference group being study participants who had not suffered from any of the mental disorders analyzed and with adjustments made for age, sex, and education. Among individuals with any mental disorder during their lifetimes, having been an inpatient in treatment for a mental disorder was related to a higher HR (2.2; CI 1.6-3.0) than was not having been in any treatment for a mental disorder. CONCLUSIONS.: In this sample of adults in the general population, three or more mental disorders, alcohol dependence, dysthymia, panic disorder with agoraphobia, and hypochondriasis were related to premature death.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean psychiatry : the journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)e30
Publication statusPublished - 02.03.2020

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


Dive into the research topics of 'Mental disorders and total mortality after 20 years in an adult general population sample'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this