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. 2016 Sep;13(5):496-503.
doi: 10.4306/pi.2016.13.5.496. Epub 2016 Sep 30.

Mental-Physical Comorbidity in Korean Adults: Results From a Nationwide General Population Survey in Korea

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Mental-Physical Comorbidity in Korean Adults: Results From a Nationwide General Population Survey in Korea

Ji-Hyun Kim et al. Psychiatry Investig. .
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Objective: The aims of this study were to estimate the prevalence of mental-physical comorbidity and health-threatening risk factors in subjects with mental disorders, and the risks of mental disorders in those with physical diseases for the last 12 months in the general Korean population.

Methods: Korean Epidemiologic Catchment Area study replication (KECA-R) was conducted for 6,510 adults between August 2006 and April 2007. The Korean version of Composite International Diagnostic Interview 2.1 (K-CIDI) was used in the survey. Prevalence of mental and physical disorders, and risk factors for physical health were calculated, and their associations were evaluated with adjustment for age and sex.

Results: Subjects with any mental disorder showed significantly higher prevalence of chronic physical conditions (adjusted odds ratio, AOR=1.5 to 2.8, p<0.001) and medical risk factors including smoking, heavy drinking, overweight, and hypertension (AOR=1.5 to 4.0, p<0.001). Of those with chronic physical conditions, 21.6% had one or more comorbid mental disorder compared with 10.5% of the subjects without chronic physical disorders (AOR=2.6, p<0.001). Contrary to expectations, depressive disorders did not show significant association with hypertension and prevalence of obesity was not influenced by presence of mental disorders. Further studies should assess these findings.

Conclusion: This is the first identification of significant mental-physical comorbidity in the general Korean population. Clinicians and health care officials should keep in mind of its potential adverse effects on treatment outcome and aggravated disease-related socioeconomic burden.

Keywords: Comorbidity; Epidemiology; Mental disorder; Psychosomatic medicine.

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