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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


GOMES, Ana Paula et al. Mental disorders and suicide risk in emerging adulthood: the 1993 Pelotas birth cohort. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2019, vol.53, 96.  Epub Oct 21, 2019. ISSN 1518-8787.


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


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). Comorbidity between disorders was also assessed. Association of each mental disorder and the number of disorders with suicide risk was assessed using Poisson regression.


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 suicide risk were higher among women. Mental disorders were associated with a higher suicide risk, with the highest risks being 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.


Our findings showed that about 20% of the youths had at least one mental disorder. However, this prevalence is underestimated since other relevant mental disorders were not assessed. Mental disorders were associated with higher suicide risk, especially the comorbidity between them.

Keywords : Young Adult; Mental Disorders, epidemiology; Suicide; Risk Factors; Mental Health.

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