Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition disorders among older African Americans: findings from the National Survey of American Life

Briggett C Ford, Kai McKeever Bullard, Robert Joseph Taylor, Amanda K Toler, Harold W Neighbors, James S Jackson
American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 2007, 15 (8): 652-9

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to estimate lifetime and 12-month prevalence of 13 psychiatric disorders for older African Americans.

METHODS: Data are from the older African American subsample of the National Survey of American Life. Selected measures of lifetime and 12-month Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) psychiatric disorders were examined (i.e., panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder, dysthymia, bipolar I and II disorders, alcohol abuse/dependence, and drug abuse/dependence).

RESULTS: Twenty-three percent of older African Americans reported at least one lifetime disorder and 8.54% reported at least one 12-month disorder. Alcohol abuse, PTSD, and major depression were the most prevalent lifetime disorders. The most prevalent 12-month disorders were PTSD, major depression, and social phobia. Age, sex, education, and region were significantly associated with the odds of having a lifetime disorder.

CONCLUSION: This is the first study of prevalence rates of serious mental disorders for older African Americans based on a national sample. Demographic correlates of the prevalence of disorders are discussed with an emphasis on age and regional differences.

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