Mental illnesses can increase the risk of heart disease

The risk of heart disease increases at a younger age in nearly 600,000 American adults with serious mental illnesses according to a study published in Journal of the American Heart Association open-access, peer-reviewed journal of the American Heart Association.

“Previous research has indicated that people diagnosed with serious mental illness die 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population, and their leading cause of death is heart disease. Our study focused on the contribution of cardiovascular risk factors, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, body mass index and smoking status, to compare the overall risk of heart disease in people affected and without serious mental illness”, says the study’s lead author, Rebecca C. Rossom, MD, MS, senior behavioral health researcher at the Center for Chronic Care Innovation at the HealthPartners Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“A large number of people diagnosed with mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease at a younger age.”

Among the population studied, 70% were diagnosed with bipolar disorder, 18% with schizoaffective disorder and 12% with schizophrenia. The team used the Framingham risk score to assess atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk over 10 years.

“Even at a younger age, people with severe mental illness had a higher risk of heart disease than their peers, underscoring the importance of addressing cardiovascular risk factors as early as possible for these individuals. Interventions to reduce the risk of heart disease for these individuals are extremely beneficial when initiated at a younger age,” Rossom said.

Source: Medina

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