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Longevity Mental Health

Poor Mental Health Shortens Lifespan

9 years, 3 months ago

22078  0
Posted on Mar 30, 2015, 6 a.m.

Depression, chronic anxiety, schizophrenia, and other mental health disorders may shorten a person’s life by 10 years.

Mental health disorders may be an under-recognized cause of premature death. Elizabeth R. Walker, from Emory University (Georgia, USA), and colleagues  completed a meta-analysis of 203 published studies that assessed a variety of mental health conditions on mortality. Data analysis revealed that schizophrenia and other types of psychoses associated with the greatest rates of mortality.  Importantly, major depression and chronic anxiety – which are more common, also shorten lifespan.  The team observed that: “The median years of potential life lost was 10 years (n = 24 studies),” submitting that: “We estimate that 14.3% of deaths worldwide, or approximately 8 million deaths each year, are attributable to mental disorders.”  The study authors conclude that: “These estimates suggest that mental disorders rank among the most substantial causes of death worldwide. Efforts to quantify and address the global burden of illness need to better consider the role of mental disorders in preventable mortality.”

Elizabeth Reisinger Walker; Robin E. McGee; Benjamin G. Druss.  “Mortality in Mental Disorders and Global Disease Burden Implications: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” JAMA Psychiatry, Feb. 11, 2015.

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