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Epidemiology of depression with psychotic experiences and its association with chronic physical conditions in 47 low- and middle-income countries

  • A. Koyanagi (a1) (a2), H. Oh (a3) (a4), B. Stubbs (a5) (a6), J. M. Haro (a1) (a2) and J. E. DeVylder (a7)...



The co-existence of depression and psychotic experiences (PEs) is associated with more pronounced adverse health outcomes compared to depression alone. However, data on its prevalence and correlates are lacking in the general adult population, and there is no published data on its association with chronic physical conditions.


Cross-sectional, community-based data from 201 337 adults aged ⩾18 years from 47 low- and middle-income countries from the World Health Survey were analyzed. The presence of past 12-month PE and DSM-IV depression was assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Information on six chronic medical conditions (chronic back pain, edentulism, arthritis, angina, asthma, diabetes) were obtained by self-report. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed.


The crude overall prevalence of co-morbid depression/PEs was 2.5% [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.3–2.7%], with the age- and sex-adjusted prevalence ranging from 0.1% (Sri Lanka, Vietnam) to 9.03% (Brazil). Younger age, urban setting, current smoking, alcohol consumption, and anxiety were significant correlates of co-existing depression/PEs. Co-occurring depression/PEs was associated with significantly higher odds for arthritis, angina, and diabetes beyond that of depression alone after adjusting for sociodemographics, anxiety, and country, with odds ratios (depression/PEs v. depression only) being: arthritis 1.30 (95% CI 1.07–1.59, p = 0.0086); angina 1.40 (95% CI 1.18–1.67, p = 0.0002); diabetes 1.65 (95% CI 1.21–2.26, p = 0.0017).


The prevalence of co-existing depression/PEs was non-negligible in most countries. Our study suggests that when depression/PE or a chronic condition (e.g. arthritis, angina, diabetes) is detected, screening for the other may be important to improve clinical outcomes.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: A. Koyanagi, MD, MSc, Ph.D., Research and Development Unit, Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu, Universitat de Barcelona, Fundació Sant Joan de Déu, Dr Antoni Pujadas, 42, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain. (Email:


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