People with mental illness are 11% more likely to die after cardiac events than the rest of the population

iStock_000011324210XSmall heart attack

A new meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Psychiatry has found that people with mental health problems are significantly less likely to receive important cardiac treatment (revascularisation, angiography, angioplasty and bypass grafting) following a cardiac event.

  • People with mental illness experience a 14% lower rate of invasive coronary interventions following a cardiac event and have an 11% increased mortality rate.
  • The rate of invasive coronary interventions for people with schizophrenia is even lower at 47% of the norm.

A systematic search and random effects meta-analysis was conducted by Dr Alex Mitchell from the Department of Liaison Psychiatry at Leicester Royal Infirmary, who identified 22 analyses of possible inequalities in coronary procedures in those with defined mental disorder, of which 10 also reported results in schizophrenia or related psychosis.

People with schizophrenia and mental illness in general had lower rates of life saving treatments than people without mental illness.

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The authors conclude that further work is needed before any kind of causal link can be established.

Mitchell and Lawrence. Revascularisation and mortality rates following acute coronary syndromes in people with severe mental illness: comparative meta-analysis. The British Journal of Psychiatry.2011; 198: 434-441. [Abstract].

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Andre Tomlin

Andre Tomlin

André Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He's worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service; an innovative digital platform that helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol with his wife, dog and three little elflings.

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