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Chartbook on Mental Health and Disability

Section 2: Characteristics of disability in adult life

2.1. For adults, how does mental illness rank as a cause of activity limitation compared to other conditions?

The relative importance of mental illness as a cause of activity limitation varies among different age groups. For younger adults, 18-44 years, mental illness was the second most frequently mentioned cause of activity limitation (10.4 per 1,000 people), exceeded only by musculoskeletal conditions (22 per 1,000). For mid-life adults, 45-64 years, mental illness ranked as the third most frequently mentioned cause of activity limitation in this age group (18.6 per 1,000). Relative to other conditions, mental illness was less frequently a cause of activity limitation for seniors, 65-74 years (11.4 per 1,000).

Among younger adults, 18-44 years, mental illness was the second most frequently mentioned cause of activity limitation.

Figure 7 (see data table for text-only version)

Figure 7: Selected chronic conditions causing activity limitation among adults 18-74, by age group

Source: National Center for Health Statistics (2002). Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs

Surveys: National Health Interview Survey, 1998-2000

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