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Sunday 23rd October 2016

People with severe mental health problems 'miss out'

3rd December 2012

A paper published in the British Journal of Psychiatry has found that the severely mentally ill are not given the treatment they require for physical illnesses.


Researchers from the University of Leicester looked at 61 studies and discovered mentally ill people had less chance of getting medication for conditions such as high blood pressure.

The studies included a wide range of conditions including arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and HIV.

The research covered nearly two million people and found that those with the most severe mental health issues had physical ailments that were "often overlooked".

The team found people with illnesses such as schizophrenia were given "lower than expected" prescriptions for medication to treat high blood pressure.

The researchers estimated people with severe mental illness were under-treated for physical conditions at a rate of 10%.

Dr Alex Mitchell of the University of Leicester, who headed the study, said: "People with severe mental illness appear to be receiving significantly less medication for medical disorders, particularly for cardiovascular problems."

He added: "Mental health professionals may not feel confident in prescribing medication to treat physical problems, and hospital specialists may be worried about interactions of mental health medication."

"However we cannot rule out the possibility that medical conditions are being undertreated where they co-exist with mental health problems." 


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