Severe mental illness is associated with a significant increase in illness and death. Although suicide is a common cause of death for people in this group heart disease (caused in part by the side effects of anti-psychotic drugs) can cause just as many problems. A study of 182 people in the North-East compared people receiving anti-psychotic drugs with people of similar ages without psychosis or schizophrenia. The study found that people taking antipsychotic drugs were much more likely to have high blood pressure, a high waist-to-hip ratio, high cholesterol and poor control of their blood sugar all of which can be risk factors for heart disease.
Mackin, Paul ... [et al] - Metabolic disease and cardiovascular risk in people treated with antipsychotics in the community British Journal of Psychiatry July 2007, 191, 23-29