Objective: This study aimed to determine the association between common mental disorders and common chronic physical conditions and the contribution of mental disorders to the likelihood of being a higher user of health services.
Method: A representative sample extracted from the National Population Register of noninstitutionalized residents of Israel aged 21 or older were interviewed at their homes between May 2003 and April 2004. Mental disorders were assessed using a revised version of the World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Chronic physical conditions were measured via a checklist of chronic physical disorders.
Results: Current mood or anxiety disorders were found to be associated with higher likelihood of chronic pain, cardiovascular conditions, diabetes and respiratory conditions beyond the sociodemographic characteristics and the risk factors (BMI or smoking). Current mood or anxiety disorders increased the likelihood of being a higher user of primary care beyond the effects of gender, population group, self-evaluation of general health, chronic pain or chronic conditions.
Conclusion: The results regarding the prevalence of mental-physical comorbidity emphasize the need for integration in the physical and mental care of people with mental disorders.