Despite a global decline in #childhood infectious #diseases, the prevalence of #mentalillness among youth has remained the same. That makes #mental #disorders one of the main origins of illness in #children aged 4-15 years around the #world, according to a new study published in the# journal #Child and #Adolescent #Psychiatry and #MentalHealth.
In the paper, researchers from INSERM, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, described the prevalence of mental disorders among children aged 5-14 years in each of the six regions of the World Health Organization: Africa, the #Americas, South-East #Asia, #Europe, the Eastern #Mediterranean and the #West #Pacific Region.
They discovered that even in emerging regions, the prevalence of mental disorders is high and constant over time. “We found that the prevalence of mental disorders in young people remained stable between 2000 and 2015, which suggests that mental disorders are not decreasing in young people despite the global improvement of their #physical health,” said study co-author Marie-Laure Baranne. “In the future, the decrease of other, preventable diseases, such as #diabetes, will lead to an increase in the importance of treating mental disorders for public health.” Baranne co-authored the paper with Bruno Falissard. The authors found that in 2000, mental disorders ranked third in the Americas and in Europe among the causes of “disability adjusted life years” (#DALYs). DALYs is defined as the lost years of a healthy life due to disease or disability. It is a measure of disease burden, or the impact of a health problem in a population.
By 2015, mental disorders had reached second place as causes of DALYs in the Americas and Europe, while the impact of infectious diseases decreased. The change from infectious diseases to mental disorders as the main cause of DALYs in children is known as an epidemiological transition.