Psychoses May Increase Risk of Death From Heart Disease

Study among veterans also finds smoking and inadequate physical activity further elevate risk
By Jeff Muise
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with psychotic disorders are at higher risk of death from heart disease than people who do not have a mental disorder, according to a study in the November/December issue of General Hospital Psychiatry.

Amy M. Kilbourne, Ph.D., of the Veterans Administration in Ann Arbor, Mich., and colleagues analyzed data from 147,193 respondents in the 1999 Large Health Survey of Veterans who were diagnosed with a mental disorder (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, other psychotic disorder or depression) or with no mental disorder. Using mortality data from the National Death Index, multivariate modeling was used to associate mental disorders with risk of death from heart disease over the eight-year study period, adjusting for demographic, clinical, and behavioral factors.

The researchers found that 11,809 died from heart disease during the study period. After controlling for clinical and sociodemographic factors, the risk of death was higher for patients with schizophrenia (hazard ratio, 1.25) or other psychotic disorders (hazard ratio, 1.41). The risk of death was not significantly higher for bipolar disorder (hazard ratio, 1.09), major depressive disorder (hazard ratio, 1.09), or other depressive disorder (hazard ratio, 1.10). Smoking and inadequate physical activity were associated with elevated death risk, with hazard ratios of 1.32 and 1.66, respectively.

"Patients with psychosis were more likely to die from heart disease. For reduction of heart disease-related mortality, early interventions that promote smoking cessation and physical activity among veterans with psychotic disorders are warranted," the authors conclude.

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