This 16 State Study reveals increased morbidity and mortality of those diagnosed with serious mental disorders. That is, people with certain psychiatric diagnoses die 25 years or more earlier than others! The study, conducted by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) and published in October, 2006, attributes the increased mortality of mental health clients to preventable conditions, ranging from smoking, prescription medications and substance abuse, to diabetes, obesity, homelessness and suicide. The study authors note that atypical antipsychotics, in particular, are increasingly associated with preventable conditions that contribute to increased mortality (i.e., weight gain, diabetes, insulin resitance, and metabolic syndrome). Furthermore, among a host of health service quality issues, access to health care is typically hindered by systemic flaws, under-funding, and discrimination against mental health consumers.
Technical%20Report%20on%20Morbidity%20and%20Mortaility%20-%20Final%2011-06.pdf — PDF document, 1093Kb