chinese going 'mental'-sniffing the fumes??

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    Mental Illness 'Major Health
    Problem' In China

    BEIJING (Reuters) -- Mental illness has become a major public health problem in China as the country modernizes and family traditions fade, Xinhua news agency said Tuesday.

    About 16 million Chinese suffered some sort of mental disease, a national incidence of 1.34 percent, the agency quoted the Ministry of Health as saying.

    The ministry had confirmed four groups of people -- youth, women, the aged, and disaster victims -- as the focus of its work with schizophrenia, depression, and Alzheimer's disease, the three major mental diseases in China, Xinhua said.

    "China is undergoing great changes with increasing social conflicts and pressure," Qi Xiaoqiu, director of the ministry's disease control department, was quoted as saying.

    "The transformation of family and population structure has given rise to the incidence of mental diseases."

    Mental illness accounted for 20 percent of diseases in China and would rise to a quarter by 2020, Xinhua quoted the World Health Organization as saying.

    "Mental health has become a major public health problem in China, not only affecting the life and work of the patients and their families, but also bringing heavy economic burden to society," the agency quoted Zhu Qingsheng, China's vice health minister, as saying.

    Copyright © 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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