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Why people with mental illness may be facing poorer physical health and early death



"Disparities in the physical health outcomes of people with mental illness are currently considered a human rights scandal," said Joseph Firth, a senior research associate at the University of Manchester and chairman of the Lancet Psychiatry Commission, who published the study.

His team analyzed nearly 100 studies and found that most people with mental illness do not die of suicide – although these account for about 17% of unnatural deaths – but of "poor physical health," which could be largely preventable.

People with mental disorders are twice as likely to be exposed to cardiometabolic disorders as diabetes and stroke. For example, in people with depression, the risk of heart disease, diabetes or obesity is about 40% higher than in the general population.

Mental illness can increase the risk of physical illness and physical illness even the risk of mental illness, Firth said. "Obesity or diabetes increases your risk of developing a psychiatric condition, and vice versa." For example, the report found that many drugs used to treat mental illness ̵

1; including antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers – can have deleterious effects on the metabolism and heart health.

Reduced adherence to therapy, which can lead to relapses and poor mental health outcomes, "the report says," The drugs are still doing more good than harm, "Firth added, but he emphasized that physicians are detrimental

People with mental illnesses are being looked after worse

Almost all are mentally Illnesses are also associated with some lifestyle risk factors – behaviors that make illnesses like heart disease more likely – and "people with mental illnesses tend to have a healthier lifestyle than the general population," the report said.

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People with severe depression smoke more often and, for example, rely on nicotine for significantly worse nutrition than the general population, according to the researchers. Nearly one in five with anxiety disorders abuse alcohol, and those with social phobia report less physical activity.

But even after controlling for risk factors such as smoking, physical activity and body mass index, the report found that deaths in people with mental illness. This indicates that mentally ill people are cared for worse than people without mental problems, the researchers said.

For example, the report found that people with severe mental illnesses are less likely to undergo physical examination than their peers. They also have more visits to the ER and hospitalizations for conditions that should be avoidable could be prevented with adequate basic care.

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It is unclear why exactly this is the case, but one possible explanation is that doctors mistakenly underlie physical symptoms attributed to underlying psychiatric problems, leading to misdiagnosis, the researchers said surgical interventions offered to the general population. And health services can be intolerant or at least perceived as such to people with mental illness, the report said.

Healthy body, healthy mind

"More needs to be done to tackle stigmatizing attitudes The training and practice of health care providers must be geared to the integration of physical and mental health care", Rakhi Dandona, clinical professor of health metrics at the University of Washington, wrote in an accompanying editorial. 19659002] "In some areas, it is obvious that due to stigmatization and discrimination of those populations, mentally ill people were deliberately given up because they were not really cared for," said Firth, who had worked with more than 40 other experts to produce the latest report ,

"You can look at the amount of funds spent on, for example, psychosocial care and psychosocial research compared to all aspects of health, and you can see that there are such big differences," he added.

However, health care systems are seeking better care, Firth said. "More and more World Health Authorities and National Health Authorities are doing their best to address these health issues," he said, "to help the patient and reduce body costs," Firth said. "It sounds like an old saying of 'healthy body , healthy mind & # 39 ;. If you look at the data, it's so well documented that you can hardly imagine an effective treatment system in which we separate these two things. "


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