Excess Mortality from Mental, Neurological, and Substance Use Disorders in the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010

Authors: Fiona Charlson, Amanda Baxter, Tarun Dua, Louisa Degenhardt, Harvey Whiteford, Theo Vos


Groups countries into 21 regions and seven super-regions based on geographic proximity and levels of child and adult mortality, with further groupings into developed and developing categories, to explore the cause-specific and excess mortality correlated with individual mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders. The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010) results, using comparative risk assessments (CRAs), reveal elevated rates of excess mortality across most mental and substance use disorders. Mental disorders have also been linked to higher rates of death caused by cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus, respiratory diseases, and some cancers, though the relationship between mental disorders and a specific physical disease, leading to premature death, is complex. Mental disorders are associated with poorer clinical management of comorbid conditions, as physical complaints may be overlooked and attributed to psychological and psychiatric factors. Prevention of excess mortality in people with these disorders should be considered a high priority in the reform of health systems.