PEOPLE who suffer from serious mental illnesses (SMIs) are at a much higher risk of dying prematurely from heart disease, according to a major study published yesterday.
Significant links between cardiovascular disease and conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression were found by researchers at King’s College London.
Those with SMIs have a 78 per cent higher risk of heart and artery damage, while their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease is 85 per cent higher.
Ten per cent of patients with an SMI were found to have cardiovascular disease, with the proportion being slightly higher among those affected by schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The investigation involved pooling information from 92 previous studies spanning four continents. Data was provided by more than 3.2 million patients and 113 million people from the general population.
The findings were published in the journal World Psychiatry.
Side effects from anti-psychotic drugs and a higher body mass index were found to be factors which cause heart disease.