Physical well-being new focus of APA

June 11, 2007

One-third of patients with serious mental illnesses are completely unaware that certain medications they take are associated with elevated blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

One-third of patients with serious mental illnesses are completely unaware that certain medications they take are associated with elevated blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol. This was one of the findings of the Bipolar Wellness Survey, a national survey that questioned 300 bipolar patients, 105 psychiatrists, and 101 primary care physicians. Other results showed that less than half of patients underwent cholesterol or blood glucose screening and only one-half were aware of simple lifestyle steps they could take to reduce their risk. According to the American Psychiatric Association, the organization that revealed the results at their annual meeting in San Diego, patients with severe mental illness are dying 25 years earlier than the general population and cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of excess mortality in this group, more so than suicide.

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