Mental illness: the mortality gap widens

The West Australian study revealed that, comparing nearly 300,000 psychiatric patients with the WA population, the life expectancy gap for men increased from 13.5 years in 1985 to 15.9 years in 2005, and for women from 10.4 years to 12.0 years.

Physical health conditions accounted for 78% of the excess deaths, including 30% from cardiovascular disease and 14% from cancer, with suicide accounting for 14% of excess deaths.

The study authors said the increased survival gap was driven largely by increased life expectancy in the general population rather than a