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

Traolach S. Brugha, Ruth Matthews, Jordi Alonso, Gemma Vilagut, Tony Fouweather, Ronny Bruffaerts, Giovanni De Girolamo, Ron De Graaf, Josep M. Haro, Viviane Kovess, Carol Jagger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-300
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Volume202
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Gender differences in mental health expectancies in early- and midlife in six European countries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this