Monday, March 28, 2011

Mild Psych Problems Hike Risk of Later Disability from MedPage Today

By John Gever, Senior Editor, MedPage Today

People do not have to be severely depressed or anxious to be at increased risk for physical or mental disability, researchers found, as even mild distress led to serious loss of function for some study participants.

Analysis of data on more than 17,000 individuals in Sweden indicated that mild psychological distress approximately doubled the likelihood of a subsequent diagnosis of somatic or psychiatric disability (hazard ratios 1.7 and 2.2, respectively, P<0.05, relative to no distress), reported Dheeraj Rai, MBBS, of the University of Bristol in England, and colleagues.

The development of cost-effective psychosocial or medical interventions for people with mild psychological distress may be a priority worth pursuing as it may reduce the disability burden, improve health outcomes and generate significant societal savings," Rai and colleagues wrote online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
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