Prevalence of psychiatric morbidity in an industrial suburb of buenos aires

A. Tarnopolsky, R. Caetano, I. Levav, G. del Olmo, C. Campillo, H. Pinheiro

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7 Scopus citations


A cross sectional household survey designed to assess the overall psychiatric morbidity of a low and middle class district is reported. A total of 736 respondents, age 15+, were interviewed by psychiatrists in training. The diagnoses, operationally defined, were allocated by two Judges who examined the field schedules. Results show that the overall prevalence of psychiatric morbidity for a retrospective period of one year is about 20 % for females and 12 % for males. This figure accounts for the confirmed active cases of Neurosis, Alcoholism, Psychosis, Dementia, Epilepsy and Mental retardation added together. If wider criteria are accepted, counting also excessive drinkers, and in general mild, incipient or suspected cases, the rates are considerably higher. Neurosis is the most common syndrome, accounting for 90 % of the female cases and 50 % of the males. Alcoholism and other types of drinkers were very frequent only among males. The distribution of all cases, neurosis and alcoholism across several demographic and social indicators is reported. The reliability of the diagnostic and other procedures is discussed. Findings are compared with those from other recent psychiatric surveys of urban general populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-88
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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