Bipolar Disorder Linked to Higher Mortality from Medical Illnesses
February 1, 2009 — Bipolar disorders appear to increase the risk of early death from a medical illness, according to a literature review study published as the lead article this week in the journal Psychiatric Services.
The researchers comprehensively reviewed 17 studies involving more than 331,000 patients. Evidence suggested that people with bipolar disorder have a higher mortality from natural causes compared to people in the general population of similar age and gender but without mental illness. The various studies indicated that the risk was from 35 percent to 200 percent higher. The risk is the same for men and women. The most common conditions leading to premature death were heart disease, respiratory diseases, stroke, and endocrine problems such as diabetes.
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For those of us who advocate for mental health being included in all well child check-ups, this is a great help. We in the business have long known that mental illness causes premature death and not just from suicide. This article, in its entirety, shows the link between mental illness and other known diseases that drain the economy. These are Diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke and other endocrine issues. When speaking to law makers economics is king. Show these folks in Washington and Austin a cost savings, and you have a shot at new legislation. Now all we have to do is prove the effectiveness of having mental health practitioners along side family practice and pediatric docs. We could decrease not only the rate of untreated mental health issues but other diseases in the general population that are draining the economy but increasing indigent care and ER visits. Part of the President's promise was to reform health care. Here is a great way to start! Are you listening Mr. Obabma?