Lifetime and six-month prevalence of mental disorders in the Munich follow-up study

  • Hans-Ulrich Wittchen
  • Cecilia Ahmoi Essau
  • Detlev von Zerssen
  • Jürgen-Christian Krieg
  • Michael Zaudig
Original Articles


The Lifetime and 6 month DSM-III prevalence rates of mental disorders from an adult general population sample of former West Germany are reported. The most frequent mental disorders (lifetime) from the Munich Follow-up Study were anxiety disorders (13.87%), followed by substance (13.51%) and affective (12.90%) disorders. Within anxiety disorders, simple and social phobia (8.01%) were the most common, followed by agoraphobia (5.47%) and panic disorder (2.39%). Females had about twice the rates of males for affective (18.68% versus 6.42%), anxiety (18.13% versus 9.07%), and somatization disorders (1.60% versus 0.00%); males had about three times the rates of substance disorders (21.23% versus 6.11%) of females. Being widowed and separated/divorced was associated with high rates of major depression. Most disordered subjects had at least two diagnoses (69%). The most frequent comorbidity pattern was anxietyand affective disorders. Simple and social phobia began mostly in childhood or early adolescence, whereas agoraphobia and panic disorder had a later average age of onset. The majority of the cases with both anxiety and depression had depression clearly after the occurrence of anxiety. The DIS-DSM-III findings of our study have been compared with both ICD-9 diagnoses assigned by clinicians independently as well as other epidemiological studies conducted with a comparable methodology.

Key words

Epidemology lifetime and 6-month prevalence DIS/DSM-III disorders Comorbidity Age of onset 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans-Ulrich Wittchen
    • 1
  • Cecilia Ahmoi Essau
    • 1
  • Detlev von Zerssen
    • 1
  • Jürgen-Christian Krieg
    • 1
  • Michael Zaudig
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for PsychiatryClinical InstituteMunich 40Germany

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