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The prevalence, age-of-onset and the correlates of DSM-IV psychiatric disorders in the Tianjin Mental Health Survey (TJMHS)

  • H. Yin (a1) (a2), G. Xu (a1), H. Tian (a1), G. Yang (a1), K. J. Wardenaar (a2) and R. A. Schoevers (a2)...



To effectively shape mental healthcare policy in modern-day China, up-to-date epidemiological data on mental disorders is needed. The objective was to estimate the prevalence, age-of-onset (AOO) and sociodemographic correlates of mental disorders in a representative household sample of the general population (age ⩾ 18) in the Tianjin Municipality in China.


Data came from the Tianjin Mental health Survey (TJMHS), which was conducted between July 2011 and March 2012 using a two-phase design. 11 748 individuals were screened with an expanded version of the General Health Questionnaire and 4438 subjects were selected for a diagnostic interview by a psychiatrist, using the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – fourth edition (SCID).


The lifetime and 1-month prevalence of any mental disorder were 23.6% and 12.8%, respectively. Mood disorders (lifetime: 9.3%; 1-month: 3.9%), anxiety disorders (lifetime: 4.5% 1-month: 3.1%) and substance-use disorders (lifetime: 8.8%; 1-month: 3.5%) were most prevalent. The median AOO ranged from 25 years [interquartile range (IQR): 23–32] for substance-use disorders to 36 years (IQR: 24–50) for mood disorders. Not being married, non-immigrant status (i.e. local ‘Hukou’), being a farmer, having <6 years of education and male gender were associated with a higher lifetime prevalence of any mental disorder.


Results from the current survey indicate that mental disorders are steadily reported more commonly in rapidly-developing urban China. Several interesting sociodemographic correlates were observed (e.g. male gender and non-immigrant status) that warrant further investigation and could be used to profile persons in need of preventive intervention.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: G. Xu, M.D. Tianjin Anding Hospital, No. 13 Liulin Road, Hexi District, Tianjin 300222, China. (Email:


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H. Yin and G. Xu contributed equally to this paper.



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The prevalence, age-of-onset and the correlates of DSM-IV psychiatric disorders in the Tianjin Mental Health Survey (TJMHS)

  • H. Yin (a1) (a2), G. Xu (a1), H. Tian (a1), G. Yang (a1), K. J. Wardenaar (a2) and R. A. Schoevers (a2)...


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