10 Mental Health Stats

Good mental health is related to mental and psychological well-being. The World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) work to improve the mental health of individuals and society at large includes the promotion of mental well-being, the prevention of mental disorders, the protection of human rights and the care of people affected by mental disorders.

  1. Mental, neurological and substance use disorders make up 10% of the global burden of disease and 30% of non-fatal disease burden.
  2. Around 1 in 5 of the world’s children and adolescents have a mental disorder.
  3. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability, affecting 264 million people.
  4. About half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14.
  5. Almost 800,000 people die by suicide every year; 1 person dies from suicide every 40 seconds.
    • Suicide is the second leading cause of death in individuals aged 15-29 years.
  6. Around 1 in 9 people in settings affected by conflict have a moderate or severe mental disorder.
  7. People with severe mental disorders die 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population.
  8. Rates of mental health workers vary from below 2 per 100,000 population in low-income countries to over 70 per 100,000 in high-income countries.
  9. Less than half of the 139 countries that have mental health policies and plans report having these aligned with human rights conventions.
  10. The global economy loses about US$ 1 trillion per year in productivity due to depression and anxiety.


World Health Organisation. (2019) Mental Health. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.who.int/news-room/facts-in-pictures/detail/mental-health. [Accessed: 17 May, 2021].

Is Anxiety in People with Rheumatoid Arthritis Associated with Increased Disease Activity & Worse Quality of Life?

Research Paper Title

The association between anxiety and disease activity and quality of life in rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.


In people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), mental health problems are common, but often not recognized or treated, contributing to increased morbidity and mortality.

Most studies examining the impact of mental health problems in RA have focused on depression.

The researchers aimed to determine the association between anxiety, and disease activity and quality of life (QoL) in people with RA.


A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed. A protocol was registered with PROSPERO (CRD2-17062580).

Databases (Web of Science, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Embase, Medline) were searched for studies examining the association between anxiety and disease activity and QoL, in adults with RA, from inception to February 2019.

Primary outcome measures were DAS28 and SF-36.

Eligibility screening and data extraction were completed by two reviewers.

Disagreements were resolved by discussion or a third reviewer.

Quality assessment was carried out using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.


From 7712 unique citations, 60 articles were assessed for eligibility.

The final review included 20 studies involving 7452 people with RA (14 cross-sectional, 6 cohort).

Eleven examined disease activity, 6 reported QoL outcome measures and 3 included both.

Anxiety was associated with increased disease activity and worse QoL.

Meta-analysis showed anxiety to be correlated with increased DAS28 scores (r = 0.23, CI 0.14, 0.31) and reduced physical (r = - 0.39, CI - 0.57, - 0.20) and mental QoL (- 0.50, CI - 0.57, - 0.43).


Anxiety in people with RA is associated with increased disease activity and worse QoL.

Improved recognition and management of comorbid anxiety may help to improve outcomes for people with RA.

Key Points:

  • This is the first systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the relationship between anxiety and disease activity and QoL in people with RA.
  • Anxiety was associated with higher disease activity both cross-sectionally and at up to 12-month follow-up.
  • Anxiety may have a more significant impact on disease activity in early RA, highlighting the importance of early recognition and management of co-morbid anxiety.
  • People with anxiety had poorer self-reported physical and mental QoL, although there was some heterogeneity in study findings, particularly for physical QoL (I2 = 78.5%).


Machin, A.R., Babatunde, O., Haththotuwa, R., Scott, I. Blagojevic-Bucknall, M., Corp, N., Chew-Graham, C.A. & Hider, S.L. (2020) The association between anxiety and disease activity and quality of life in rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Rheumatology. doi: 10.1007/s10067-019-04900-y. [Epub ahead of print].