Mental Health Day: Schizophreniacs More Likely to Die of Heart Attack

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 10, 2012

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According to scientists at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health and the Institute for Clinical Evaluate Sciences, schizophrenics are at a higher risk of getting a heart attack in comparison to the general public. This World Mental Health Day we need to be more aware and understand the struggles of those suffering from mental disorders.


[Read: Signs and Symptoms of Mental Disorder]


It has been found that people with schizophrenia have a life span that is twenty years shorter than the general public. This happens due to factors such as smoking, increased diabetes rate, and metabolic problems which is brought about by the use of antipsychotic medication. These factors then worsen with a cardiac condition because schizophrenics are less likely to make lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise. Heart attack stands as a threat to mental patients during such times.


[Read: Treatment Options for Schizophrenia]


Dr. Paul Kurdyak, Chief, Division of General and Health Systems Psychiatry at CAMH, has analysed four years of patient data at Ontario and identified all incidents of heart attack among people with schizophrenia. He then compared these results to people without schizophrenia. He found that people who were schizophrenic have 56% more chances of dying from a heart attack after getting discharged from the hospital. The study also found that people suffering from schizophrenia are 50% less likely to see a cardiologist and get a cardiac procedure done within 30 days of their discharge. The solution is to prevent it with the help of after care.


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