The Pervasive Nature of Comorbidity

- Mapping out the relationship between mental disorders

In the mental health field it is widely acknowledged that individuals treated for incident mental disorders are at increased risk of subsequently developing other mental disorders. Research from the Niels Bohr Professorship research programme offers a comprehensive mapping of the risks of double diagnosis - also called comorbidity - within ten major groups of mental disorders.

The research, which is done in collaboration with researchers from University of Queensland and iPSYCH, is published in the study: ”The pervasive nature of comorbidity within mental disorders: a comprehensive, nationwide cohort study”. Based on registers from 5,9 million people living in Denmark from 2000 to 2016, the study is the most detailed study of comorbidity ever conducted in the field of mental health.

The study confirms that comorbidity is the rule rather than the exception. People diagnosed with one mental disorder are not only more likely to be diagnosed with all other mental disorders, but the risk also persists for many years. The study shows that half of those who develop a mental disorder such as depression prior to the age of 20 will also develop an anxiety disorder within the next 15 years.

All results are available on our interactive webpage http://www.nbepi.com/. It offers professionals and the general public access to examine risks of comorbidity according to age, sex and type of mental disorder. We hope that the interactive webpage will make our results more widely understood by clinicians, people with mental disorders and their caregivers.

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What is comorbidity?

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How to measure comorbidity