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Global Burden of Disease and the Impact of Mental and Addictive Disorders


Purpose of Review

This contribution reviews the newest empirical evidence regarding the burden of mental and addictive disorders and weighs their importance for global health in the first decades of the twenty-first century.

Recent Findings

Mental and addictive disorders affected more than 1 billion people globally in 2016. They caused 7% of all global burden of disease as measured in DALYs and 19% of all years lived with disability. Depression was associated with most DALYs for both sexes, with higher rates in women as all other internalizing disorders, whereas other disorders such as substance use disorders had higher rates in men.


Mental and addictive disorders affect a significant portion of the global population with high burden, in particular in high- and upper-middle-income countries. The relative share of these disorders has increased in the past decades, in part due to stigma and lack of treatment. Future research needs to better analyze the role of mental and addictive disorders in shifts of life expectancy.

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Fig. 1


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Correspondence to Jürgen Rehm.

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Jürgen Rehm and Kevin D. Shield declare no conflict of interest.

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Rehm, J., Shield, K.D. Global Burden of Disease and the Impact of Mental and Addictive Disorders. Curr Psychiatry Rep 21, 10 (2019).

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  • Mental disorders
  • Substance-use disorders
  • Global burden of disease
  • Excess mortality
  • Deaths of despair
  • Life expectancy