The study in the journal JAMA Network Open indicates that people who experience psychiatric conditions when they are young are likely to experience excess age-related physical diseases when they are older.
Leah Richmond-Rakerd, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, and colleagues found that preexisting physical illness cannot explain this association.
The researchers ruled out the possibility of reverse causation in which having a physical illness precipitates mental health problems. Prior studies had not taken this into account. This association is present across different mental disorders and different physical diseases, Richmond-Rakerd says.
The researchers conducted a nationwide hospital-register study of 2.3 million New Zealanders—aged 10-60 years at baseline—followed across three decades (1988 to 2018). They tested whether individuals with mental disorders are at increased risk for subsequent chronic physical diseases and premature mortality.
The researchers collected information about hospital admissions for different mental disorders, such as substance use disorders, psychotic disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and self-harm behavior. In addition, researchers collected information about hospital admissions for different chronic physical diseases, ranging from coronary heart disease to cancer.
Read the full article about mental health by Jared Wadley at Futurity.
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