Lifetime and 12-month prevalence estimates for mental disorders in northeastern Germany: findings from the Study of Health in Pomerania

  • E. AsselmannEmail author
  • K. Beesdo-Baum
  • A. Hamm
  • C. O. Schmidt
  • J. Hertel
  • H. J. Grabe
  • C. A. Pané-Farré
Original Paper


Few epidemiological studies presented 12-month and lifetime prevalence estimates for DSM-IV mental disorders in the adult general population by sex and age up to very old age. From 2007 to 2010, DSM-IV mental disorders were assessed with the DIA-X/M-CIDI among N = 2400 participants (aged 29–89 years) from the Study of Health in Pomerania, an epidemiological study based on a two-stage stratified cluster sample randomly drawn from the adult general population in northeastern Germany. 36.3% of the sample was affected by any 12-month and 54.8% by any lifetime mental disorder. The most frequent diagnostic groups were anxiety (12-month: 14.8%, lifetime: 23.4%), substance use (12-month: 14.5%, lifetime: 25.0%), somatoform (12-month: 12.9%, lifetime: 20.4%) and depressive (12-month: 7.3%, lifetime: 18.6%) disorders. Except for substance use (higher prevalence in men) and bipolar disorders (comparable prevalence in men and women), higher 12-month and lifetime prevalence estimates were found in women vs. men. Moreover, lower 12-month and lifetime prevalence estimates were found in older (aged 60–74 or 75–89 years) vs. younger (aged 29–44 or 45–59 years) age groups. 22.6% (men: 21.1%, women: 23.9%) of those affected by any 12-month disorder met criteria for two and 13.6% (men: 9.6%, women: 16.9%) for three or more 12-month diagnoses. Similarly, 26.4% (men: 25.7%, women: 26.9%) of those affected by any lifetime disorder met criteria for two and 22.7% (men: 19.6%, women: 25.2%) for three or more lifetime diagnoses. Our findings demonstrate the frequency of mental disorders in northeastern Germany and emphasize the need for continued prevention and intervention efforts.


Epidemiology Community Psychopathology Frequency Comorbidity 



SHIP is part of the Community Medicine Research net of the University of Greifswald, Germany, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Grants no. 01ZZ9603, 01ZZ0103, and 01ZZ0403), the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the Social Ministry of the Federal State of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. Genome-wide data in SHIP have been supported by a joint grant from Siemens Healthineers, Erlangen, Germany, and the Federal State of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. This work was also funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG: GR1912/5-1). Dr. Eva Asselmann was funded by a Junior Fellowship of the Alfried-Krupp-Wissenschaftskolleg of the University of Greifswald. Prof. Dr. Katja Beesdo-Baum was funded by grants of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Grants no 01ER1303 and 01ER1703).

Compliance with ethical standards

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all participants prior to their inclusion in the study.

Ethical standards

SHIP was approved by the ethics committee of the University of Greifswald and complies with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2013.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

406_2018_911_MOESM1_ESM.docx (543 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 542 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behavioral Epidemiology, Institute of Clinical Psychology and PsychotherapyTechnische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of Physiological and Clinical PsychologyUniversity of GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  4. 4.Institute for Community MedicineUniversity Medicine GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity Medicine GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany

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