Death After Heart Attack More Likely Among Those with Mental Illness

Do the mentally ill receive fewer lifesaving interventions when they are physically ill?

It has already been established that people with diagnosed mental health conditions have a higher rate of heart disease, as well as increased likelihood of risk factors for cardiovascular problems such as obesity, smoking, and inactivity. A new study goes a step further, showing that people who are mentally ill are more likely to die after suffering a heart attack.

The study was published at the beginning of this month, in the British Journal of Psychiatry. The researchers looked at 22 published studies looking at the level of care given to people with serious mental health conditions. 10 of those studies looked at people with schizophrenia, and they found that schizophrenics received half the medical interventions offered to those without schizophrenia. These interventions include procedures like bypass surgery and angioplasty.

In another group of 6 studies, it was found in the year after a cardiac event, people with a serious mental illness had a risk of death that was 11% higher than those without a mental disorder.

The authors don't know whether this discrepancy is a result of the mentally ill declining treatment or physicians failing to offer it, but either way it points to an area in health care that deserves greater attention.

Read more: http://health.msn.com/health-topics/heart-and-cardiovascular/mental-illn...

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