Life Expectancy in Mental Illness

Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

Mental illness can take years off a person’s life, but perhaps not as many as previously thought.

Recent research shows that serious and persistent mental illness can result in patients losing up to four years of life compared to individuals without mental illness.

Dr. Elizabeth E. Piatt from the Department of Behaviors and Community Health Services atNortheastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy in Rootstown, and her colleagues, examined death records of patients from a community mental health center, and from the general population.  The researchers found an increase in premature mortality in the mentally ill patients, not only from suicide, but also cancer, accidents, liver disease and septicemia.

“We found that a community-based sample of adults with severe and persistent mental illness lost 14.5 years of potential life, a difference of 4.2 years from the (control) sample,” said Piatt.

It has been known for years that people with severe…

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