Management of physical health conditions in adults with severe mental disorders

World Health Organization WHO, (2018)

The global burden of disease due to mental disorders continues to rise, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). In addition to causing a large proportion of morbidity, mental disorders – especially severe mental disorders (SMD) – are linked with poorer health outcomes and increased mortality. SMD are defined as a group of conditions that include moderate to severe depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. People with SMD have a two to three times higher average mortality compared to the general population, which translates to a 10-20 year reduction in life expectancy. While people with SMD do have higher rates of death due to unnatural causes (accidents, homicide, or suicide) than the general population, the majority of deaths amongst people with SMD are attributable to physical health conditions, both non-communicable and communicable.


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