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1 in 2 people likely to have mental disorder by age of 75: study

New research co-led by the University of Queensland (UQ) and Harvard Medical School has estimated that by the age of 75 years, about one in two individuals are likely to develop at least one of the mental disorders.

The study, published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal on Sunday, included data from 156,331 adults across 29 countries and regions between 2001 and 2022.

Researchers found that the morbid risk of any mental disorder by age 75 years was 46.4 percent for male respondents and 53.1 percent for female participants, reports Xinhua.

According to their findings, “alcohol use” and “depression” are the top two prevalent disorders among men, while “depression” and “specific phobia” are the most common for women.

The study also noted that these disorders typically first emerge in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood.

John McGrath, lead author of the study and professor from UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute, said that the results demonstrate the high prevalence of mental health disorders, with 50 percent of the population developing at least one disorder by the age of 75.

“The peak age of first onset was at 15 years old, with a median age of onset of 19 for men and 20 for women,” said McGrath. “This lends weight to the need to invest in basic neuroscience to understand why these disorders develop.”

Ronald Kessler, co-author and professor from Harvard Medical School, pointed out that by understanding the age at which these disorders commonly arise, experts can tailor public health interventions and allocate resources to ensure that appropriate and timely support is available to individuals at risk.