Severe mental illness risks patient’s heart

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People with severe mental illness are at a substantially increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease compared to the general population, according to a recent study.

Led by King’s College London, the research of more than 3.2 million people with severe mental illness shows that people with severe mental illness (SMI), including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression, have a 53 per cent higher risk for having cardiovascular disease than healthy controls, with a 78 per cent higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease over the longer term.

Their risk of dying from the disease was also 85 per cent higher than people of a similar age in the general population.

These findings highlight the importance of regularly screening SMI patients for cardiovascular risk and also point towards a number of potentially modifiable risk factors.

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