Report shows people with severe mental illness have significantly worse physical health

A new Public Health England report shows people with severe mental illness (SMI) suffer significantly worse physical health compared to the general population, with the greatest inequalities seen among younger people.

The report looks at GP data for adults aged under 75. It was prompted by the inequalities that are known to exist in people with severe mental illness who die on average 15 to 20 years earlier than the general population.

Severe mental illness refers to people who have received a diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder or schizophrenia, or who have experienced an episode of psychosis.

The report found patients with SMI have a higher prevalence of:

obesity (1.8 times more prevalent than the general population)
diabetes (1.9 times)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (2.1 times)
stroke (1.6 times)
heart failure (1.5 times)
Coronary Heart Disease (1.2 times)
asthma (1.2 times)

Patients with SMI are also around twice as likely to have multiple physical health conditions as the general population.