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Gender and age-specific first incidence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders in the general population. Results from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (NEMESIS).

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WODC (Research and Documentation Centre, Ministry of Justice), P. O. Box 20301, 2500 EH The Hague, The Netherlands.



Prospective studies in the general population are needed to identify risk factors for mental disorders. Samples of sufficient size are needed, but large-scale studies that assess the incidence of psychopathology are rare.


The aim of this study was to investigate the 12-month first incidence rates (IR) by age and gender for 15 specified DSM-III-R disorders in the general population. Methods The study was based on a representative sample (N = 5618) of the Dutch population aged 18-64.


The IR for any disorder was 5.68 per 100 person-years at risk (men 4.45, women 6.94). IRs for both men and women were highest in the youngest age category. The most common 12-month incident disorders in men were alcohol abuse (IR = 4.09) and major depression (1.72). In women, the most common incident disorders were major depression (IR = 3.90) and simple phobia (3.17).


The results show the rarity of first-onset of mental disorders. IRs vary strongly between the different life phases, as well as between men and women. This suggests potential target areas for age-specific and gender-specific prevention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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