Psychiatric morbidity and comorbidity in elderly patients treated at the Department for Psychiatry during 2018

Nerminka Aljukic, Mevludin Hasanovic, Izet Pajevic, Elvir Becirovic, Anel Brigic


Introduction: Globally, the most common mental disorders in the elderly include dementia (5% - 8%), depression (7%), anxiety disorder (4%), and substance abuse (1%). Moreover, 25% of suicide deaths occur among the elderly. Whether the prevalence rate of psychiatric disorders increases in later life is currently debated in the literature. During the previous two decades of their lives, older adults in Bosnia and Herzegovina have experienced many specific psychosocial circumstances. The experience of war aggression on our country, and the post-war period with a very complex socioeconomic environment of the current socio-political climate, were accompanied by special challenges for the mental health of this population. Motivated by a large number of questions and dilemmas related to the state of mental health of this population, we conducted research at the Department of Psychiatry at the University Clinical Center Tuzla.

Objective: Our objective was to investigate psychiatric morbidity and comorbidity in people over 55 years of age.

Methods: The research sample consisted of all patients older than 55 years treated at the Department for Psychiatry during 2018 (N=281), divided into four age categories. To obtain data, we used medical documentation, i.e., medical records, and we constructed a special questionnaire for research purposes.

Results: Diagnoses by ICD-10 groups: 33.4% of patients in the entire sample had affective disorders (F30.0-F39.0): "young" (39.2%), "middle" (43.3%), "older "(75%) (p<0.001); women had significantly more affective disorders (61.8%) than men (26.8%) (p<0.001). Men had significantly more organic mental disorders (F00.0-F09.0) (63.3%) than women (22.6%) (p<0.001).

Hypertensio arterialis was the most common comorbid dg. of the entire sample, without significant differences according to age groups and sex (p>0.05). Diabetes mellitus was the second comorbid dg. By frequency in the total sample (19.6%) without significant differences according to age groups and according to sex (p>0.05).

Conclusion: In the entire sample, the most common diagnoses are from the affective disorders group; the most common somatic comorbidities are hypertensio arterialis and diabetes mellitus.


morbidity, comorbidity, mental disorders, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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DOI: 10.5457/ams.v53i2.700