Thursday, June 2, 2011

Serious Mental Illness and Early Mortality

Individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) were found to have lost between 8 and 17.5 years of life, according to a study of life expectancy in a cohort of over 31,000 people with SMI in England. The results show that the impact of serious mental illness on life expectancy is marked and generally higher than similarly calculated impacts of well-recognized adverse exposures such as smoking, diabetes and obesity. The study, “Life Expectancy at Birth for People with Serious Mental Illness and Other Major Disorders from a Secondary Mental Health Care Case Register in London,” was published online on May 18 on PlosOne.

The study confirms what has been widely reported elsewhere—that people with serious mental illness die earlier than their healthy counterparts. And this is largely due not to suicide or other factors directly related to mental illness, but to poorer general health and poorer access to quality medical care. For more information see Psychiatric News,


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