Serious Mental Disorders Can Put People at Risk of Premature Death

As compared to the general population, average life expectancy is respectively 10 and seven years shorter for men and women with mental disorders, says a new study.

The study, published in the journal The Lancet, explores mortality for those with different types of mental disorders.

"We investigated how mortality rates changed for each type of disorder, for each age, for males and females. In addition to looking at premature mortality, we were able to explore specific causes of death such as cancer, diabetes and suicide," said study lead author Oleguer Plana-Ripoll from Aarhus University in Denmark.

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Based on data from 7.4 million people living in Denmark between 1995 and 2015, the findings provide new insights into how mental disorders impact the lives of people with disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders.

When looking at differences in life expectancy, the researchers found that men and women with mental disorders on average had life expectancies respectively 10 and seven years shorter after the diagnosis of the disease compared to an overall Danish person of the same age.

For example, people with depression or another type of mood disorder, which are among the most common mental disorders, had higher mortality rates.

Oleguer Plana-Ripoll“Apart from an increased risk of death due to suicide, we also confirm an increased risk of death due to somatic conditions such as cancer, respiratory diseases, diabetes etc.”

"We found that men and women with mood disorders experienced life expectancies respectively 7.9 and 6.2 years shorter after disease diagnosis compared to the overall Danish person with the same age," Plana-Ripoll added.

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