Mental health and the risk of negative social life events: A prospective cohort study among the adult Danish population

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Abstract

Background: The consequences of poor mental health on morbidity and mortality are well established. However, studies prospectively examining the consequences on social life events are lacking. This study prospectively examines the risk of various social life events (educational attainment, employment status, marital status and parenthood) defined in administrative registers by mental health status at baseline defined by the MCS-12 in the Danish adult population. Methods: The analysis is based on data from the Danish National Health Survey 2010. A total of 177,639 individuals completed the questionnaire (59.5% of the sample). MCS-12 was used to categorise participants according to mental health status (poor, moderate and good). Survey data were linked to administrative registers at the individual level and followed for a minimum of 4 years. Cox proportional hazards models were used to prospectively examine the risk of various social life events according to mental health status at baseline. Results: Individuals with poor mental health and, to a certain degree, individuals with moderate mental health were less likely to experience positive life events such as progression in educational level, getting married, being employed and becoming a parent and were more likely to experience negative life events such as becoming unemployed and divorced/widowed. Conclusions: Mental health status is associated with educational attainment, employment status, marital status and parenthood. These results add to a growing body of evidence indicating that poor mental health is associated with substantial societal-level impairments that should be taken into consideration when making decisions regarding allocation of treatment and research resources.

Original languageEnglish
Book seriesScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Volume50
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)189-198
ISSN1403-4956
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Mental health
  • SF-12
  • educational attainment
  • employment
  • life events
  • marital status
  • parenthood
  • Prospective Studies
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Marital Status
  • Divorce
  • Denmark/epidemiology
  • Adult

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