Mental Illness Tied to Heart Problems

An analysis of 108 studies that included more than 30 million people found that individuals with severe mental illness—such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder—have a two-times greater risk for cardiac-related death than the general population. The authors add, “The increased relative risk of [cardiovascular disease] diagnosis in more recent decades may be a result of disparity in smoking prevalence between people with [severe mental illness] and the general population or increased use of antipsychotics…The changes since the 1990s approximately coincide with the release of newer, second-generation antipsychotics which are known to have worse metabolic effects.” PLOS Medicine, April 2022

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