Researchers from the VA Ann Arbor Health System in Michigan have been looking into the links between mental-health problems and heart disease. They studied 150,000 veterans who completed a survey in 1999 and were followed for eight years. By the end of the study 8% of the participants had died of heart disease with people with psychosis being more than twice as likely to die. People with depression and bipolar disorder were also more likely to die of heart disease but this increased risk disappeared once unhealthy lifestyles had been taken into account. However, even after allowing for things such as smoking and weight problems people with schizophrenia were 17% more likely to die of heart disease and people with psychosis were 30% more likely. The researchers thought that this could be due to the debilitating and isolating effects of psychosis and schizophrenia and the problems people with these conditions might have in getting adequate treatment.
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