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Schizophrenia Linked with Chronic Disease

Scientists have gained insight on the link between mental and physical health as new research suggest individuals with a particular psychiatric disorder are more likely to have a chronic medical condition.

Researchers discovered men and women diagnosed with schizophrenia are at risk for physical illness spanning several disease categories including cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurological, and endocrine diseases.

Individuals with schizophrenia are significantly more likely to have one or more of 46 common chronic health conditions than individuals without mental illness, state researchers in the November 2006 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Schizophrenia Linked with Chronic Disease“This work is yet another piece in the larger puzzle of understanding the relationships between mental and physical health,” said Caroline Carney Doebbeling, M.D., M.Sc., associate professor of psychiatry and medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a research scientist at the Regenstrief Institute, Inc.

Dr. Carney Doebbeling is the first author of the study which looked at inpatient and outpatient insurance claims data from more than 700,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 64. She has previously used this data to study mental illness and cancer, mental illness and diabetes, and the likelihood of women with mental illness to undergo mammograms.

In the new study, Dr. Carney Doebbeling and colleagues report that compared with individuals without mental illness, persons with schizophrenia were more likely to have a greater number of conditions spanning several disease categories and body systems. One-third of a rather young population (average age of those with schizophrenia was 40 years old) already had three or more chronic physical health conditions needing a physician’s care.

Only 29 percent of people treated for schizophrenia, compared with 54 percent of controls, did not have at least one accompanying physical illness.

The impact of having medical problems in addition to schizophrenia is significant, affecting both quality of life and delivery of psychiatric and medical services.

“This work highlights the need for integrated medical and psychiatric care, and the long-term deleterious effects on physical health of living with chronic mental illness,” said Dr. Carney Doebbeling.

“Both physical and mental health practitioners should have a heightened awareness of the significant medical morbidity faced by persons with chronic mental illness.”

Source: Indiana University

Schizophrenia Linked with Chronic Disease

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Schizophrenia Linked with Chronic Disease. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 16, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2006/12/13/schizophrenia-linked-with-chronic-disease/473.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.