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Mental health patients 'less able to care for themselves'

Mental health patients 'less able to care for themselves'
23rd May 2011

People with mental health issues, who may be using home care, may not deal as well with other aspects of their health.

Social psychologist Dr Sandra Wheatley has said that people with a mental illness are much less likely to take care of themselves physically.

"It doesn't take much of a leap of the imagination to even an unqualified person to understand that if you are not looking after yourself mentally, you are probably not looking after yourself physically," she confirmed.

This follows research published in journal PLoS ONE which found that the impact of serious mental illness on life expectancy tends to be higher than other impacts such as smoking, diabetes and obesity.

Mental health disorders saw eight to 14.6 years lost for men from normal life expectancy with 9.8 to 17.5 years lost for women.

Authors concluded that strategies to identify and prevent causes of premature death are "urgently required".

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