Mental illness may reduce lifespan

Researchers reviewed a register of contacts with Western Australian mental health services between 1985 and 2005. In 2005, men who had accessed mental health services in the previous five years died an average of 15.9 years earlier than men in the general population. In 1985, the gap was 13.5 years. Among women, the gap increased from 10.4 to 12 years.

Eighty percent of the deaths were attributed to physical illness, with 32% due to cardiovascular disease and 16% due to cancer. Suicide caused 12% of the excess deaths.