More than half of Americans suffer from chronic illness, mental disorder or substance abuse disorder

A majority of Americans either suffer from a mental illness, a substance abuse disorder or a chronic illness, according to a new study published in the journal Psychology, Health & Medicine.

For the study, researchers examined three years (2010-2012) of publicly available data, compiled by HHS, on 115,921 adults ages 18 and over from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Analysis revealed more than 18.4 percent of respondents suffered from a mental illness in the past year, 8.6 percent reported substance abuse or dependence during the same time frame and 40 percent reported suffering from a chronic medical condition in their lifetime. Additionally, 14.7 percent of respondents were living poverty at the time of the survey. Mental illness was linked to an increased risk of substance abuse (three times more likely), chronic medical conditions (1.5 times more likely) and living in poverty (1.2 times more likely).

"Just over half of adults in the U.S. have one or more chronic condition, mental disorder or dependence on substances," said lead author Elizabeth Lee Reisinger Walker, PhD, a researcher with the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta. "These conditions commonly overlap with each other and with poverty, which contributes to poor health."

Researchers also found 1.2 percent of survey respondents, the population equivalent to 2.2 million people, reported suffering from a chronic health condition, mental illness and substance abuse disorder concurrently.

The study's authors concluded improving the health of individuals with comorbidities in the U.S. will involve increased access to and coordination between multitudes of health services, observing, "Collaborative care models are effective in treating mental illnesses in primary care and providing primary care in specialty mental health settings."

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John Oliver takes aim at Purdue, drug distributers' role in opioid epidemic on 'Last Week Tonight': 5 quotes

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