Co-occurrence of Physical Health Conditions and Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions

HCUP Statistical Brief 240

Co-occurrence of Physical Health Conditions and Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions Among Adult Inpatient Stays, a statistical brief from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, presents data on the co-occurrence of physical health conditions and mental and/or substance use disorders (M/SUDs) among adult inpatient stays in 2010 and 2014. Comparisons in the 2 years are made for the prevalence of stays for M/SUDs (i.e., principal diagnosis) with a co-occurring physical health condition (i.e., secondary diagnosis) and for the prevalence of stays for physical health conditions (i.e., principal diagnosis) with a co-occurring M/SUD (i.e., secondary diagnosis).

Physical health conditions and M/SUDs are often treated through different mechanisms in the health care system. When physical health conditions and M/SUDs occur together, they may complicate diagnosis, treatment, and disease progression. Conditions often go undiagnosed among patients with co-occurring physical and mental illnesses. For example, COPD and heart failure may mask or mirror symptoms of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder, making their recognition and diagnosis less likely. Additionally, physical health conditions can increase risk of psychological distress, exacerbate mental disorders, and compound functional impairment.  Likewise, individuals with a severe mental disorder have higher rates of chronic conditions, including hypertension, and diabetes.

Highlights

  • Among approximately 30 million annual adult inpatient stays for physical health conditions or M/SUDs, the co-occurrence of these two types of conditions increased from 38.4 percent of stays in 2010 to 45.0 percent of stays in 2014.
  • In 2014, 84.2 percent of 1.8 million stays for an M/SUD involved a co-occurring physical health condition, and 42.4 percent of 27.8 million stays for a physical health condition involved a co-occurring M/SUD.
  • Among stays for an M/SUD in 2014, co-occurring physical health conditions—
    • Ranged from 71.6 percent of stays for adjustment disorders to 93.4 percent of stays for miscellaneous M/SUD disorders
    • Were most commonly essential hypertension or fluid and electrolyte disorders
    • Were more common among older patients
  • Among stays for a physical health condition in 2014, co-occurring M/SUDs were—
    • Present for more than half of stays for respiratory conditions
    • Most commonly screening and history of mental health and substance abuse

Select to access Co-occurrence of Physical Health Conditions and Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions Among Adult Inpatient Stays.

Page last reviewed June 2018
Page originally created June 2018
Internet Citation: Co-occurrence of Physical Health Conditions and Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions. Content last reviewed June 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/health-substance-abuse-hcup.html