Mental Illness May Take Over 10 Years off an Individual’s Life Expectancy

Mental Illness May Take Over 10 Years Off An Individual's Life Expectancy

Severe mental illness may take between 10 and 25 years off of an individual’s life expectancy, which is comparable to or worse than the influence of heavy smoking, state researchers. Dr. Seena Fazel, who works in the psychiatry department, at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, explained the prior information in a press release.

The doctor stated that they discovered numerous mental health diagnoses have been linked with drops in life expectancy as great as those connected with smoking 20 or more cigarettes per day.  There could be many different reasons for the lower life expectancy. Dr. Fazel explained that high risk behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse were extremely common in psychiatric patients, and they were much more likely to commit suicide.

The humiliation that surrounds mental illness could mean that people are not treated as well for physical health problems when they do see a physician. Dr. Fazel’s group observed 20 studies that looked at the link between mental health and death rates. The studies involved nearly two million people and around 250,000 deaths.

The scientists discovered that key mental disorders can significantly shorten people’s lives. Such as the study found that the average life expectancy was between 10 and 20 years less than what was considered normal for people who suffered from schizophrenia, 10 to 20 years shorter for individuals who had bipolar disorder, 10 to 15 years less for people who endured recurring depression, and between 10 and 25 years shorter for individuals who suffered from alcohol and drug abuse.

In contrast to this, being a heavy smoker shortens the normal lifespan by an average of about 10 years tops noted the authors of the research study. However even though the team found a suggestion between mental illness and a possible increase in the risk of early death, it failed to prove that any type of mental illness actually led to the premature demise of any individuals.

While it appears that mental illness seems to significantly increase the chance of early death, this is not a top community health priority stated the researchers. One of the reasons is the trend to isolate mental and physical health.

Dr. Fazel declared that numerous reasons for mental illness also have physical penalties and mental health problems end up causing the prognosis of a range of physical illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Regrettably, people who have severe mental problems might not have proper access to health care

He and his group of colleagues stated that their conclusions would hopefully drive various governments and public health officials to put a greater priority on mental health. The outcomes from the research study were printed up on May 23 in the mental health journal World Psychiatry.

Severe mental illness might take off between 10 and 25 years of an individual’s life expectancy, which is equal to or worse than the influence of heavy smoking, state researchers. This information was put out in a recent news release.

By Kimberly Ruble

Sources:

Tech Times

The Daily Mail

WebMD

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