April 29, 2010

CHINA: Nearly 18 percent of Chinese adults have mental disorders

BEIJING, China / The People's Daily / Society / April 29, 2010

The latest large-scale survey involving 12 percent of Chinese adults found that nearly 18 percent of them suffer from mental disorders. Of that number, 6 percent suffer from mood disorders, 6 percent have anxiety disorders and another 6 percent have substance abuse disorders.

The survey also shows men have a higher prevalence of mood disorders and anxiety disorders than women. Those who are 40 years old and older have a higher prevalence of mental disorders.

The risk for men to develop alcohol abuse disorders is 38 times higher than women. Rural residents have a higher prevalence of major depression disorders, dysthymic disorders and alcohol dependence than urban residents, according to the survey.

Ninety cities and 267 villages in Zhejiang, Shandong, Qinghai, and Gansu provinces were chosen as primary sampling points. The sampling frame covered 113 million people above the age of 18.

As can be seen from the aforementioned figures, more attention should be paid to the mental health of Chinese adults. The survey found that predominant mental disorders vary in different areas. Alcohol abuse has become particularly prevalent in parts of China, generalized anxiety disorders and dysthymic disorders have also become major mental health problems among adults. Mental disorders can produce really adverse effects, but few sufferers seek treatment.

This was China's third large-scale epidemiological survey on mental disorders since 1993 and it adopted a multi-stage stratified random sampling method. [rc]

By People's Daily Online