Mental health lags behind global health and lifespan improvements

December 17, 2012

A leading international expert on autism at the University of Leicester has been involved in contributing to a major new study of global health.

Professor Terry Brugha, of the Department of Health Sciences, is co-author of two papers in The Lancet's special issue on the Global Burden of Disease.

Because of his work on Epidemiology, which was used to develop one new element of these syntheses, Professor Brugha was a co-author at the University of Leicester on two of the reports.

He said: "The most pressing issue to come out of the Global Burden of Disease study is that and lifespan is improving but mental health is not. This fits well with the second theme of my research group which is ."

In a recent study, Professor Brugha found not a single person identified with autism or asperger's syndrome during a community survey in England actually knew they had the condition.

His research had revealed that autism was commoner in males, those without higher educational qualifications, and those living in social (government financed) housing. Prevalence was not related to the age of those with the condition.

The findings came from the first ever general population survey of autism in adulthood. They were based on a two phase epidemiological survey in England (7,461 screening interviews; 618 diagnostic) carried out in 2007. The findings were published fully in the world's leading peer refereed mental health scientific journal the .

Professor Brugha, who is also a consultant psychiatrist working in the NHS with the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, said none of the cases with autism found in the community survey throughout England knew that they were autistic or had received an official diagnosis of autism or asperger syndrome.

Professor Brugha's research confirms the already published report from the survey (2009) that 9.8 per thousand adults in England meet official diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder. There was no evidence of an 'autism epidemic' of marked increase in people with the condition.

Explore further: Autism expert on proposed changes to autism diagnosis

Related Stories

Autism expert on proposed changes to autism diagnosis

January 23, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Autism has been the subject of much discussion recently due to proposed changes in diagnostic criteria, as laid out in the forthcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ...

Experts: No link between Asperger's, violence

December 16, 2012

(AP)—While an official has said that the 20-year-old gunman in the Connecticut school shooting had Asperger's syndrome, experts say there is no connection between the disorder and violence.

Recommended for you

Oxytocin enhances spirituality, new study says

September 21, 2016

Oxytocin has been dubbed the "love hormone" for its role promoting social bonding, altruism and more. Now new research from Duke University suggests the hormone may also support spirituality.

Study reveals a biological link between stress and obesity

September 21, 2016

Metabolic and anxiety-related disorders both pose a significant healthcare burden, and are in the spotlight of contemporary research and therapeutic efforts. Although intuitively we assume that these two phenomena overlap, ...

Men with anxiety are more likely to die of cancer, study says

September 20, 2016

Men over 40 who are plagued with the omnipresent of generalized anxiety disorder are more than twice as likely to die of cancer than are men who do not have the mental affliction, new research finds. But for women who suffer ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.