Link Between Mortality Risk and Mental Disorders

A new research reported in JAMA Psychiatry discovers that the possibility of mortality among individuals with psychological health problems is over two times greater than that of individuals without such problems and the general population.

With respect to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), about 61 million People in America – the equal to 1 in 4 – experience some type of psychological problem in any given year. About 13 million Americans have a severe mental condition, like as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or main depression.

Previous studies have recommended that individuals with mental illness have a greater mortality risk. In 2012, for instance, a study in the UK identified individuals who experience depression, anxiety and other psychological health problems have a reduced life expectancy than individuals without these problems.

But the investigators of this recent study – which includes Elizabeth Reisinger Walker, PhD, observe that to date, no comprehensive meta-analyses have quantified the death rate risk in individuals with mental problems.

“Quantifying and knowing the excess mortality among individuals with mental conditions can notify approaches for dealing with this persistent problem and broaden discussion of the impact of mental problems on mortality,” say the authors.

About 8 million deaths a year triggered by mental health problems

Walker and colleagues performed an assessment of 2,481 research that looked at the connection between mental health problems – which includes depression, stress, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – and mortality.

The investigators included 203 studies in their final evaluation, which showed 29 nations over six major regions. These researches either compared the mortality danger of individuals with mental health problems against that of the common population or individuals without mental problems.

The outcomes of the research exposed that the mortality threat of individuals with mental health disorders was 2.22 times greater than the mortality risk of people free of mental problems and the general people. There was an average of 1 decade of possible life lost among individuals with mental disease.

The team also identified that natural reasons accounted for 67.3% of deaths among individuals with mental health conditions. Natural reasons accounted for 17.5% of deaths, while the reasons of the remaining deaths are unidentified.

In add-on, the investigators measured that each year, about 8 million (14.3%) deaths globally are attributable to mental health problems.

Leaving comments on their results, the authors write:

“Individuals with mental problems experience a great burden of mortality at the individual and population levels. Decrease of this burden will need a focus on less frequent but more severe diagnoses and more frequent mental disorders. Similarly, initiatives should be made to prevent and control comorbid medical problems and decrease the happening of unnatural deaths in this vulnerable population.”

The team claims their study is subject to some restrictions. For instance, they only involved studies that had been reported in English, meaning some may have been neglected. “However, presented the number of studies involved in our analysis, it is unlikely that the outcomes would be considerably affected,” they note.