J Epidemiol Community Health 60:646-647 doi:10.1136/jech.2006.046631

Income inequality and the prevalence of mental illness: a preliminary international analysis

  1. Kate E Pickett1,
  2. Oliver W James2,
  3. Richard G Wilkinson3
  1. 1Department of Health Sciences, University of York, Heslington, York, UK
  2. 2Home-Start, UK
  3. 3Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Nottingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr K E Pickett
 Department of Health Sciences, University of York, Seebohm Rowntree Building, Area 2, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK; kp6{at}

    The World Health Organisation’s world mental health survey initiative has recently provided comparable cross-national estimates of the prevalence of any, and serious, mental illness.1 In an exploratory study, we estimated the relations of two important economic factors—living standards and income inequality—to mental illness in developed countries.

    Methods and results

    Prevalence of mental illness in the WMH survey initiative is derived from face to face interviews using the WMH version of the WHO composite international diagnostic interview (WMH-CIDI), a fully structured, lay administered psychiatric diagnostic interview. Data …

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