English title: Gender differences in mental health expectancies in early-and midlife in six European countries

Author(s): Traolach Brugha - Ruth Matthews - Jordi Alonso - Gemma Vilagut - Tony Fouweather - Ronny Bruffaerts - Giovanni Girolamo - Ron Graaf - Josep Haro - Viviane Kovess - Carol Jagger -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2013

Abstract

Abstract Background Health expectancies, taking into account both quality and quantity of life, have generally been based on disability and physical functioning. Aims To compare mental health expectancies at age 25 and 55 based on common mental disorders both across countries and between males and females. Method Mental health expectancies were calculated by combining mortality data from population life tables and the age-specific prevalence of selected common mental disorders obtained from the European Study of the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD). Results For the male population aged 25 (all countries combined) life expectancy was 52 years and life expectancy spent with a common mental disorder was 1.8 years (95% CI 0.7–2.9), 3.4% of overall life expectancy. In comparison, for the female population life expectancy at age 25 was higher (57.9 years) as was life expectancy spent with a common mental disorder (5.1 years, 95% CI 3.6–6.6) and as a proportion of overall life expectancy, 8.8%. By age 55 life expectancy spent with a common mental disorder had reduced to 0.7 years (males) and 2.3 years (females). Conclusions Age and gender differences underpin our understanding of years spent with common mental disorders in adulthood. Greater age does not mean living relatively more years with common mental disorder. However, the female population spends more years with common mental disorders and a greater proportion of their longer life expectancy with them (and with each studied separate mental disorder).

Volume: 202

Issue: 4

From page no: 294

To page no: 300

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1192/BJP.BP.111.107003

Journal: British Journal of Psychiatry