People who suffer from mental health disorders are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease or stroke, demonstrates a new study.
The study suggested that people who haven't developed heart disease or had a stroke are more likely to be at a high long-term risk of developing cardiovascular disease, when compared to the general population.
Dr. Katie Goldie, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, said that this population was at high risk, and it was even greater for people with multiple mental health issues.
People with mental health disorders often exhibit behavioral risk factors, including tobacco and alcohol use, poor diet and physical inactivity.
Goldie said that psychiatric medications can induce weight gain and impair the breakdown of fats and sugars by the body and this could lead to obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes and the medications themselves account for a lot of risk in this group.
Dr. Brian Baker, a psychiatrist who specializes in people with cardiac disease, said that the prevention strategies were the same for people with mental health issues which meant eating a healthy diet, being physically active, being smoke-free, managing stress and limiting alcohol consumption and making positive health behavior changes was important to their physical health and to mental health too.