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Science News About Statistics

Announcing New U.S. Disability Statistics on the NIMH Website

Science Update

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NIMH announces updated World Health Organization estimates of the burden of disease in the United States.

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Psychotropic Medications Are Prescribed Appropriately Among U.S. Teens, National Study Finds

Science Update

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A national study suggests that psychotropic medications are, in general, being prescribed appropriately among U.S. teens.

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Many Youths with Autism Not Employed or In College 2 Years After High School

Science Update

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Data from a nationally representative survey show that teens with autism appear to face additional challenges after graduating high school than peers with similar disabilities. NIMH-funded researchers highlight the need to improve transition planning and for further studies on the effectiveness of services for adults with autism.

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Most Children with ASD Diagnosed After Age 5, Use Multiple Services and Medications

Science Update

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New data detail the experiences of young children with autism spectrum disorder, describing when they are first identified as having ASD, who is making those identifications, and the services and medications the children use to meet their developmental needs.

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National Survey Dispels Notion that Social Phobia is the Same as Shyness

Science Update

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Normal human shyness is not being confused with the psychiatric anxiety disorder known as social phobia, according to an NIMH survey comparing the prevalence rates of the two among U.S. youth.

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Prescribed stimulant use for ADHD continues to rise steadily

Press Release

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The prescribed use of stimulant medications to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) rose slowly but steadily from 1996 to 2008, according to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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Survey Assesses Trends in Psychiatric Hospitalization Rates

Science Update

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Short-term inpatient psychiatric stays increased for youth but declined for older adults between 1996 and 2007, according to an analysis published online ahead of print August 1, 2011, in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Autism Risk in Younger Siblings May be Higher Than Previously Thought

Science Update

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Parents of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face about a 19 percent chance that subsequent children will also develop ASD, according to a study partially funded by NIMH.

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Many School-aged Children with ASD in South Korea Go Undiagnosed

Science Update

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The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among children in South Korea appears to be much higher than the range of estimates reported for other countries, according to a study partly funded by NIMH. Furthermore, two-thirds of ASD cases were found in children attending mainstream schools, had not been previously diagnosed, and had never received treatment for the disorder. The study was published on May 9, 2011, in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Most Teens with Eating Disorders Go Without Treatment

Science Update

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About 3 percent of U.S. adolescents are affected by an eating disorder, but most do not receive treatment for their specific eating condition, according to an NIMH-funded study published online ahead of print March 7, 2011, in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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International Impact of Bipolar Disorder Highlights Need for Recognition and Better Treatment Availability

Science Update

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The severity and impact of bipolar disorder and bipolar-like symptoms are similar across international boundaries, according to a study partially funded by NIMH.

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National Survey Confirms that Youth are Disproportionately Affected by Mental Disorders

Science Update

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About 20 percent of U.S. youth during their lifetime are affected by some type of mental disorder to an extent that they have difficulty functioning, according to a new NIMH survey published in the October 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The data support the observation from surveys of adults that mental disorders most commonly start in early life.

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National Survey Tracks Rates of Common Mental Disorders Among American Youth

Press Release

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Only about half of American children and teenagers who have certain mental disorders receive professional services, according to a nationally representative survey funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The survey also provides a comprehensive look at the prevalence of common mental disorders.

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Black Teens, Especially Girls, at High Risk for Suicide Attempts

Science Update

Black American teens, especially females, may be at high risk for attempting suicide even if they have never been diagnosed with a mental disorder, according to researchers funded in part by NIMH. Their findings, based on responses from adolescent participants in the National Survey of American Life (NSAL), provide the first national estimates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (ideation) and suicide attempts in 13- to 17-year-old black youth in the United States. The study was published in the March 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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Personality Disorders Prevalent, Under-Treated, in South Africa

Science Update

Almost seven percent of South African people age 20 or older have a personality disorder, an umbrella term for several personality types characterized by chronic social dysfunction, a large study funded by NIMH and others reveals.

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Mental Disorders Cost Society Billions in Unearned Income

Press Release

Major mental disorders cost the nation at least $193 billion annually in lost earnings alone, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The study was published online ahead of print May 7, 2008, in the American Journal of Psychiatry

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Mental Disorders Persist Among Hurricane Katrina Survivors

Science Update

More residents affected by Hurricane Katrina are enduring mental disorders than was initially determined a few months after the storm, according to a study published online January 8, 2008, in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. The trend runs counter to the typical pattern of recovery after a natural disaster, in which the prevalence of mental disorders among the survivors gradually decreases and fades out after about two years.

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National Survey Tracks Prevalence of Personality Disorders in U.S. Population

Science Update

NIMH-funded researchers recently reported that roughly nine percent of ? U.S. adults have a personality disorder as defined by the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,

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Mental Disorders Account for Large Percentage of Adult Role Disability

Science Update

An NIMH-funded study finds that more than half of U.S. adults have a mental or physical condition that prevents them from working or conducting their usual duties (e.g., role disability) for several days each year, and a large portion of those days can be attributed to mental disorders.

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Drops in SSRI prescription rates may coincide with increases in youth suicides

Science Update

A 2004 spike in suicide rates may have coincided with a drop in antidepressant prescriptions for youth, following warnings from U.S and European regulatory agencies that the medications might trigger suicidal thoughts.

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Global Survey Reveals Significant Gap in Meeting World's Mental Health Care Needs

Press Release

Mental disorders rank among the top ten illnesses causing disability—more than 37 percent worldwide—with depression being the leading cause of disability among people ages 15 and older, according to the Global Burden of Disease and Risk Factors published in 2006.

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Parents' Diagnoses Help to Distinguish Childhood Bipolar Disorder from Severe Mood Dysregulation

Science Update

The parents of children who have bipolar disorder are more likely to have bipolar disorder themselves than the parents of children who have severe mood dysregulation (SMD).

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New Insights on how Mental Health is Influenced by Culture and Immigration Status

Science Update

A special issue of Research in Human Development, published in June 2007, examines current trends in prevalence and risk factors for mental disorders across the lifespan in diverse U.S. minority populations

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Bipolar Spectrum Disorder May Be Underrecognized and Improperly Treated

Press Release

A new study supports earlier estimates of the prevalence of bipolar disorder in the U.S. population, and suggests the illness may be more accurately characterized as a spectrum disorder.

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Study Tracks Prevalence of Eating Disorders

Science Update

Results from a large-scale national survey suggest that binge-eating disorder is more prevalent than both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

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Half of Adults With Anxiety Disorders Had Psychiatric Diagnoses in Youth

Science Update

About half of adults with an anxiety disorder had symptoms of some type of psychiatric illness by age 15, a NIMH-funded study shows.

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U.S.-born Children of Immigrants May Have Higher Risk for Mental Disorders Than Parents

Science Update

In the first studies to examine the effects of immigration and years of residence on the mental health of Caribbean Black, Latino, and Asian populations in the United States, NIMH-funded researchers found that immigrants in general appear to have lower rates of mental disorders than their U.S.-born counterparts.

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Bipolar Disorder Exacts Twice Depression’s Toll in Workplace, Productivity Lags Even After Mood Lifts

Press Release

Bipolar disorder costs twice as much in lost productivity as major depressive disorder, an NIMH funded study has found.

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Harvard Study Suggests Significant Prevalence of ADHD Symptoms Among Adults

Science Update

A recent NIMH-funded survey tracking the prevalence of attention deficit/hyperactivity symptoms found that an estimated 4.4 percent of adults ages 18-44 in the United States experience symptoms and some disability.

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Mental Illness Exacts Heavy Toll, Beginning in Youth

Press Release

Researchers supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have found that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and that despite effective treatments, there are long delays — sometimes decades — between first onset of symptoms and when people seek and receive treatment.

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Psychiatric Disorders Common Among Detained Youth

Press Release

Among teens in juvenile detention, nearly two thirds of boys and nearly three quarters of girls have at least one psychiatric disorder, a federally funded study has found.

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