Study confirms that people with severe mental disorders more at risk of dying from heart disease

December 18, 2015

However, even when considering factors such as diabetes and lifestyle, researchers found that patients with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders were still more likely to die from heart disease. "This suggests that we are either missing some factor, or there is something inherent about having these disorders that puts patients at greater risk for heart disease-related mortality," Kilbourne said.

Eric Goplerud, Ph.D., director of the Center for Integrated Behavioral Health Policy in Washington, said that results of this study and others suggest that people with serious mental illnesses are far less likely to receive medical screening and general preventive care. He said that lack of coordinated care has serious consequences: "Serving their mental needs in one stovepipe and their medical needs in another is probably associated with premature mortality."

"The issue of cardiovascular disease in this population is huge," Goplerud said. "As we look at national health reform, it is absolutely critical that people with mental illness and addictions be included ??� they are dying of preventable medical conditions."

Source: VA Ann Arbor National Serious Mental Illness Treatment Research and Evaluation Center