Global Burden of Mental, Neurological, and Substance Use Disorders: An Analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study, 2010

Authors: Harvey Whiteford, Alize Ferrari, Louisa Degenhardt, Valery Feigin, Theo Vos


This chapter investigates trends in the burden caused by mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders and presents findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010). In GBD 2010, the burden of MNS disorders was estimated separately from that of neurological disorders, such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy. MNS disorders were among the leading causes of disease burden in 2010 and were responsible for 7.4 percent of global disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and 22.9 percent of global years lived with disability (YLDs), making them the fifth-leading cause of DALYs and the leading cause of YLDs. These findings represent a 41 percent increase in DALYs caused by MNS disorders between 1990 and 2010, from 182 million to 258 million DALYs, and show important gender differences; overall, in 2010, 124 million mental, neurological, and substance use DALYs occurred among males and 134 million among females. Treatment rates for these disorders are low, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).