Research suggests that people with mental illness are under treated for common medical conditions

Posted by hct16 at Dec 03, 2012 10:20 AM |
University of Leicester honorary lecturer argues for improvements to ensure medical care of people with mental illness is not overlooked.
Research suggests that people with mental illness are under treated for common medical conditions

Dr Alex Mitchell, honorary senior lecturer at the University of Leicester.

A research team led by Dr Alex J Mitchell, honorary senior lecturer at the University of Leicester and a consultant at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, has called for better monitoring systems to ensure that the medical care of people with mental illness is not overlooked.

Patients with severe mental illness are less likely to be prescribed medication to treat common medical conditions such as high blood pressure, according to their new paper published online today by the British Journal of Psychiatry.

They found that patients with severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, received lower than expected prescriptions for essential drugs to treat high blood pressure, including ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers and statins. People with affective disorders, such as bipolar disorder, were also less likely to receive beta-blockers and drugs to control cholesterol, though this was not statistically significant.

Dr Mitchell said it was previously showed that patients with mental illness received lower rates of general medical care and lower rates of medical interventions whereas now it has been shown that people with severe mental illness appear to be receiving significantly less medication for medical disorders, particularly for cardiovascular problems.