Mental disorders cause 1.3 billion annual days of lost performance, a new Harvard University/National Institute of Mental Health study shows.
Depression is associated with the largest number of lost days. The number of days lost to mental disorders is roughly half that lost to all chronic physical conditions combined, according to a Harvard press release.
More than half of U.S. adults have a mental or physical condition that influences their “role functioning,” according to the release.
The findings are published in this month’s issue of the “Archives of General Psychiatry.” They are based on the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication, a nationwide survey of 9,282 Americans ages 18 and older. Respondents were asked how many days they were completely unable to work or carry out their usual activities because of problems with their physical or mental health.
“Previous research has found that, on the whole, the least amount of health resources are spent on research and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions,” author Kathleen Merikangas of the NIMH said in the release. “These results illuminate the discrepancy between how we allocate our health care resources, and which illnesses have the most impact.”
Jeff Raymond, Medical Writer