Compared to the general population, people with severe mental illness, including schizophrenia, have higher levels of cardiovascular-related mortality, and that association has become stronger over recent decades, according to a new study publishing April 19 in PLOS Medicine by Amanda Lambert of the University of Birmingham, UK, and colleagues.
Previous research has identified higher incidence and mortality from cardiovascular disease in people with severe mental illness, but it was not known whether that association has changed over time. The new study involved a systemic review and meta-analysis of 108 previous studies including over 30 million participants in high-income countries, all aged 16 to 65 years of age at onset of psychiatric disorder.
The study found that, overall, the cardiovascular-related mortality rate for people with severe mental illness is about twice that of the general population (SMR 1.96, 95% CI: 1.61–2.39, pschizophrenia in the 1990s compared with the 1980s was 1.61 (95% CI: 1.14–2.28, p=0.014).
It was not possible to explore all possible confounders, such as smoking and obesity, and there was also considerable heterogeneity between the studies included in the meta-analysis. More research is needed to understand the reasons for the higher morbidity risk and to assess why it may have been worsening in recent decades.
“The increased relative risk of CVD diagnosis in more recent decades may be a result of disparity in smoking prevalence between people with SMI and the general population or increased use of antipsychotics. The changes since the 1990s approximately coincide with the release of newer, second-generation antipsychotics which are known to have worse metabolic effects,” the authors say.
Lambert adds, “Our systematic review and meta-analysis of over 100 studies has confirmed a strong association between severe mental illness and cardiovascular disease which became stronger in the 1990s and 2000s.”
Lambert AM, Parretti HM, Pearce E, Price MJ, Riley M, Ryan R, et al. (2022) Temporal trends in associations between severe mental illness and risk of cardiovascular disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med 19(4): e1003960. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003960
Public Library of Science
Mental illness associated with increased death from cardiovascular disease (2022, April 19)
retrieved 19 April 2022
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.