Friday, July 17, 2009

Mortality, heart disease and mental illness

People with severe mental-health problems have a particularly high death rate from heart disease. The reasons put forward to explain this include the side effects of drugs, unhealthy diets, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, high rates of smoking and the stigma of having a mental-health problem. Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark studied 4.6 million people between 1994 and 2007 looking into people's contacts with the health service with cardiovascular problems, their death's from heart disease and any operations they might have had for heart problems. They found that people with severe mental illness (defined in the study as people with schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, and schizoaffective disorder) only had a slightly-higher rate of heart disease - 11% higher - than other people. However, they were nearly three times more likely to die of heart disease. Five years after people's first contact with the medical profession with heart disease 8.26% of people with a serious mental illness had died compared to only 2.86% of people without a mental illness. Only 7.04% of people with a severe mental illness had a heart operation 5 years after being diagnosed compared to 12.27% of the rest of the population. The researchers concluded that the treatment offered to people with a severe mental illness for their heart disease was neither sufficiently efficient nor sufficiently intensive and that "this undertreatment may explain part of their excess mortality."

Laursen, Thomas Munk ... [et al] - Somatic hospital contacts, invasive cardiac procedures, and mortality from heart disease in patients with severe mental disorder Archives of General Psychiatry July 2009, 66(7), 713-720

1 comment:

Elite Health said...

Although many people think of heart disease as a man's problem, women can and do get heart disease. I was in the same misconception regarding the heart disease, but was made aware by a medical checkup campaign. In fact, heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. It is also a leading cause of disability among women.

The most common cause of heart disease is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself. This is called coronary artery disease and happens slowly over time. It's the major reason people have heart attacks. Prevention is important: two-thirds of women who have a heart attack fail to make a full recovery.

The older a woman gets, the more likely she is to get heart disease. But women of all ages should be concerned about heart disease. All women can take steps to prevent it by practicing healthy lifestyle habits.

Actually, right now I am suffering from a blockage in the coronary artery and was once blocked up to 85%. I got the stent implantation which is a mesh like spring which is used to broaden the artery and hence restoring back the blood flow. You can see further information regarding stent operation from www.heartsite.com/html/stent.html. I got to know everything regarding my stent operation from this site. I was really unaware of such a blockage. I sometimes feel dizzy, restless, lazy , but thought that to be something related to mental ability, and hence never worried about it. Once I got my basic medical checkup at Elite health medical office in Los Angeles. The ECG report went to be something suspicious. So, they advised me to have further advance diagnosis to determine and assure regarding the problem in the heart. After my MRI , CT scan and other such scans it came to me as a shock that I was facing a problem of blockage. It was quite surprising to me, and as I was not aware of anything regarding this, I was really frightened. The doctors explained me every information regarding my health and its treatment, and suggested me to have stent operation. That was some dreadful days of my life, which I faced only because I was careless about my health. It was my luck that I somehow went for a basic checkup at elite health, but every woman out there may not be so lucky.