Psychiatric disorders. A rural/urban comparison

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985 Jul;42(7):651-6. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790300013002.


We studied rural/urban differences in the prevalence of nine psychiatric disorders from a community survey (part of the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Program) of 3,921 adults living in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Crude comparisons disclosed that major depressive episodes and drug abuse and/or dependence were more common in the urban area, whereas alcohol abuse/dependence was more common in the rural area. When prevalence for these disorders was stratified for age, sex, race, and education (factors that may confound urban/rural comparisons), a number of significant differences were identified, such as higher prevalence of major depression in female and white subjects and higher prevalence of alcohol abuse/dependence in the less educated subjects. A logistic-regression analysis was used to determine if significant urban/rural differences persisted when these potential confounders were controlled. Major depressive disorders were found to be twice as frequent in the urban area in this controlled analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Agoraphobia / epidemiology
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Educational Status
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Rural Population*
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Urban Population*