Mental disorders and suicide risk in emerging adulthood: the 1993 Pelotas Birth Cohort

Ana Paula Gomes, Ana Luiza G. Soares, Christian Kieling, Luis Augusto Rohde, Helen Gonçalves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of some mental disorders and of suicide risk, and the association between them in youths.

METHODS: Data from the 1993 Pelotas Birth Cohort (Brazil) was used. The prevalence of mental disorders at 22 years (major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorders type 1 and 2 (BD1; BD2), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and antisocial personality disorder (APD)) and of suicide risk were assessed using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (n=3,781). The comorbidity between disorders was also assessed. Association of each mental disorder and the number of disorders with risk of suicide was assessed using Poisson regression.

RESULTS: The prevalence of any mental disorder was 19.1% (95% CI: 17.8; 20.3), and GAD was the most prevalent (10.4%; 95% CI: 9.5; 11.4). The prevalence of current suicide risk was 8.8% (95% CI: 5.9; 9.7). All disorders (except APD) and the risk of suicide were higher among females. Mental disorders were associated with a higher suicide risk, and the highest risks were observed for MDD (RR: 5.6; 95% CI: 4.1; 7.8) and PTSD (RR: 5.0; 95% CI: 3.9; 6.3). The higher the number of co-occurring mental disorders, the higher the risk of suicide.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings showed that about 20% of the youths had at least one mental disorder, and this prevalence is underestimated since other relevant mental disorders were not assessed. Mental disorders, especially the comorbidity between them, were associated with higher risk of suicide.
Original languageEnglish
Article number96
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalRev Saude Publica
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2019


  • Mental Health
  • Mental disorders
  • Suicide
  • Young Adult
  • Epidemiology
  • Risk Factors


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