Mapping health risks for people with mental disorders

April 29, 2020

Researchers now have the ability to map the risks of general medical conditions such as heart and lung diseases, diabetes and cancer for people with mental disorders.

A University of Queensland study has revealed that people with mental disorders are many times more likely to develop other health conditions, highlighting the need to provide them with better medical care.

Professor John McGrath, from UQ's Queensland Brain Institute and Denmark's Aarhus University, led an international team of researchers aiming to draw more attention to the fatal consequences of mental disorders, beyond suicide.

"We found that women with anxiety disorders have a 50 per cent increased risk of developing a heart condition or stroke -- over 15 years, one in three women with anxiety disorders will develop these medical disorders," Professor McGrath said.

"We also looked at men with substance use disorders such as alcohol-related disorders and found they have a 400 per cent increased risk of gut or liver disorders, while over 15 years, one in five of them will develop gut or liver conditions."

The researchers have developed a website where relative and absolute risks of medical conditions can be explored, depending on sex, types of mental disorder, age of mental disorder diagnosis and time since mental disorder diagnosis.

Professor McGrath said the work was prompted by a previous study that identified a higher mortality rate for people with mental disorders, partly attributed to suicide, but mostly from general medical conditions.

"We need to provide better medical care to people with mental disorders because if we can treat these medical conditions early, we should be able to reduce the mortality gap," Professor McGrath said.

"The best way to reduce the premature mortality is for GPs, mental health clinicians and people with mental disorders to work more closely together in order to monitor the general health of people with mental disorders.

"For those of us with mental conditions, we need to take especially good care of our physical health; watch our weight, exercise, and when we see our GP, ask for checks of our general health, such as our blood pressure and lipid levels, not just the mental disorder."

The research is published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and studied 10 broad types of mental disorder and nine broad categories of medical conditions in 5.9 million individuals born in Denmark between 1900 and 2015.
-end-


University of Queensland

Related Mental Disorders Articles from Brightsurf:

Mental health disorders among university students confined during COVID-19
University students in France who experienced quarantine during COVID-19 were surveyed to assess how common were mental health issues and to identify factors associated with these disorders.

Care for veterans with substance use and mental health disorders needs improvement
While the availability of services for veterans has expanded in recent years, many post-9/11 veterans do not receive appropriate care for their co-occurring substance use and mental health problems, according to a new study.

Infant sleep problems can signal mental disorders in adolescents -- Study
Specific sleep problems among babies and very young children can be linked to mental disorders in adolescents, a new study has found.

Mental disorders in the family affects the treatment of people with bipolar disorder
Patients with bipolar disorder who have multiple family members with severe mental disorders, are more difficult to treat and require more medicine.

Researchers call for new approach to some mental disorders
Depression, anxiety and PTSD might not be disorders at all, according to a recent paper by Washington State University biological anthropologists.

Mapping health risks for people with mental disorders
Researchers now have the ability to map the risks of general medical conditions such as heart and lung diseases, diabetes and cancer for people with mental disorders.

Spinal cord injury increases risk for mental health disorders
A new study finds adults with traumatic spinal cord injury are at an increased risk of developing mental health disorders and secondary chronic diseases compared to adults without the condition.

Maternal hypertensive disorders may lead to mental health disorders in children
Hypertensive pregnancy disorders, especially preeclampsia -- may increase the risk of psychological development disorders and behavioral and emotional disorders in children.

Critically injured soldiers have high rates of mental health disorders
U.S. combat soldiers who suffered a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) are more likely than soldiers with other serious injuries to experience a range of mental health disorders, according to a new retrospective study by University of Massachusetts Amherst health services researchers.

Brain imaging may improve diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders
Brain imaging may one day be used to help diagnose mental health disorders--including depression and anxiety--with greater accuracy, according to a new study conducted in a large sample of youth at the University of Pennsylvania and led by Antonia Kaczkurkin, PhD and Theodore Satterthwaite, MD.

Read More: Mental Disorders News and Mental Disorders Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.