Mental Illness Can Shorten Life Span as Much as Smoking

Health News / Tips & Trends / Celebrity Health

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MONDAY, May 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Serious mental illness can take between seven and 24 years off a person’s life, which is similar to or worse than the impact of heavy smoking, researchers report.

“We found that many mental health diagnoses are associated with a drop in life expectancy as great as that associated with smoking 20 or more cigarettes a day,” Dr. Seena Fazel, of the department of psychiatry, at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, said in a university news release.

“There are likely to be many reasons for this. High-risk behaviors are common in psychiatric patients, especially drug and alcohol abuse, and they are more likely to die by suicide,” Fazel noted. “The stigma surrounding mental health may mean people aren’t treated as well for physical health problems when they do see a doctor.”

Fazel’s team examined 20 studies that looked at the link…

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