Higher mortality risk in individuals with mental health disorders

February 11, 2015, The JAMA Network Journals

Individuals with mental health disorders have a risk of mortality that is two times higher than the general population or than individuals without such disorders, according to a study published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

The link between and mortality is complicated because most people with those disorders do not die of their condition. Also, disorders are associated with risk factors for mortality. Quantifying and understanding mortality among people with mental health disorders can inform approaches to address the issue, according to the study background.

Elizabeth Reisinger Walker, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.A.T., of Emory University, Atlanta, and coauthors reviewed medical literature to examine mortality among people with mental health disorders. Their meta-analysis included 203 articles from 29 countries.

Analysis by the authors indicates that the relative risk of mortality among those with mental health disorders (from 148 studies) was 2.22 times higher than the comparison population. A total of 67.3 percent of the deaths among people with mental health disorders were due to natural causes, 17.5 percent to unnatural causes and the remainder of the deaths to other or unknown causes. The median (midpoint) of potential life lost was 10 years.

"We estimate that 14.3 percent of deaths worldwide, or approximately 8 million deaths each year, are attributable to mental disorders. ... People with mental disorders experience a high burden of at the individual and population levels. Reduction of this burden will require a focus on less prevalent but more severe diagnoses and more common . Likewise, efforts must be made to prevent and manage comorbid medical conditions and reduce the occurrence of unnatural deaths in this vulnerable population," the study concludes.

Explore further: Outcomes for the mentally ill do not improve with age

More information: JAMA Psychiatry. Published online February 11, 2015. DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.2502

Related Stories

Outcomes for the mentally ill do not improve with age

November 3, 2014
New research has confirmed that people with severe mental disorders who reach older age have lower life expectancy compared with their peers.

Mental health care lacking in state and federal prisons

January 12, 2015
A significant portion of state and federal prisoners are not receiving treatment for mental health conditions, according to research by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public ...

Africa faces mental health crisis as life expectancy improves

November 11, 2014
University of Queensland researchers warn that many countries in Africa's Sub-Saharan region could be on the verge of a mental health crisis.

Diet and nutrition essential for mental health

January 28, 2015
Evidence is rapidly growing showing vital relationships between both diet quality and potential nutritional deficiencies and mental health, a new international collaboration led by the University of Melbourne and Deakin University ...

Children of older dads more likely to suffer mental illness, study shows

January 22, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Children with older fathers are more susceptible to mental health disorders a University of Queensland (UQ) study has found.

Perinatal mental health crucial for physical and mental wellbeing of both parents and child

November 14, 2014
The importance of looking after the mental health of parents during pregnancy and after childbirth, in order to promote the physical and mental wellbeing of both parents and child, is highlighted in The Lancet today.

Recommended for you

We can read each other's emotions from surprisingly tiny changes in facial color, study finds

March 19, 2018
Our faces broadcast our feelings in living color—even when we don't move a muscle.

Social media use at age 10 could reduce wellbeing of adolescent girls

March 19, 2018
Social media use may have different effects on wellbeing in adolescent boys and girls, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Public Health.

Study with infants suggests language not necessary for reasoning ability

March 16, 2018
A team of researchers from Spain, Hungary and Poland has found via a study with infants that language may not be a necessity for the ability to reason. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes ...

Hep C compounds alcoholism's effect on brain volume

March 16, 2018
(HealthDay)—Alcohol dependence has deleterious effects on frontal cortical volumes that are compounded by hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and drug dependence, according to a study published online March 14 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Study casts doubt on ketamine nasal sprays for depression

March 16, 2018
Researchers from the Black Dog Institute and UNSW Sydney have questioned the efficacy and safety of intranasal ketamine for depression, with their pilot trial stopped early due to poor side effects in patients.

Older adults' difficulties with focusing can be used to help put a face to a name

March 16, 2018
Everyone has experienced the awkward situation of meeting someone and then forgetting their name shortly after. Among older adults, this happens more often than not.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.