Current Psychiatry Reports

, 21:10 | Cite as

Global Burden of Disease and the Impact of Mental and Addictive Disorders

  • Jürgen RehmEmail author
  • Kevin D. Shield
Public Policy and Public Health (G Norquist, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Public Policy and Public Health


Purpose of Review

This contribution reviews the newest empirical evidence regarding the burden of mental and addictive disorders and weighs their importance for global health in the first decades of the twenty-first century.

Recent Findings

Mental and addictive disorders affected more than 1 billion people globally in 2016. They caused 7% of all global burden of disease as measured in DALYs and 19% of all years lived with disability. Depression was associated with most DALYs for both sexes, with higher rates in women as all other internalizing disorders, whereas other disorders such as substance use disorders had higher rates in men.


Mental and addictive disorders affect a significant portion of the global population with high burden, in particular in high- and upper-middle-income countries. The relative share of these disorders has increased in the past decades, in part due to stigma and lack of treatment. Future research needs to better analyze the role of mental and addictive disorders in shifts of life expectancy.


Mental disorders Substance-use disorders Global burden of disease Excess mortality Deaths of despair Life expectancy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Jürgen Rehm and Kevin D. Shield declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Clinical Psychology and PsychotherapyTU DresdenDresdenGermany
  2. 2.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthInstitute for Mental Health Policy ResearchTorontoCanada
  3. 3.WHO Collaboration Centre, Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Institute of Medical ScienceUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  6. 6.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  7. 7.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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