UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry



Document Type

Book Chapter


Mental and Social Health | Mental Disorders | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


Comorbidity occurs when an individual experiences two or more disorders at the same time (Eaton, 2006). Comorbidities can occur sequentially, or they can become symptomatic simultaneously. Disorders that are considered comorbidities can be either physical or psychological in nature. It is a common occurrence that a disorder in one domain (e.g., a physical disorder of spinal cord injury) will trigger or exacerbate a disorder in another domain (e.g., a psychological disorder of depression). Two disorders within the same domain are also considered comorbidities (e.g., depression and anxiety, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and ischemic heart disease). There are some disorders that are such frequent comorbidities that they may eventually be combined under a single label and treated as a single syndrome (e.g., metabolic syndrome which often includes high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and dyslipidemia) ...


Citation: Wachholtz, A. B. (2013). Comorbidity. In M. Gellman & J.R. Turner (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. (pp 475-476). Springer, New York. DOI 10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_860