Mentally ill less likely to get heart treatment

Heart attack treatment less likely for people with mental health problems

By Liz Lockhart

People with mental health problems are less likely to be offered revascularisation, angioplasty or a bypass after heart attack and have a higher chance of dying, research has revealed.

According to an article published b the Press Association on some 22 studies were reviewed, showing that the chances of being offered a procedure such as revascularisation, angioplasty or bypass after a heart attack or an episode of unstable angina was 14% lower among peole with mental illness.

His figure rises worryingly for people who suffer with schizophrenia, they were 47% les likely to receive treatments.

People who suffer from mental illness who experience a heart attack or other acute coronary event had an 11% higher chance of dying than those who do not suffer from mental health disorders.

Te University of Leicester and Curtin Health Research Institute in Australia conducted the research which has been published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

The report says ‘One possible explanation is the physicians do not offer procedures to those with mental illness because these individuals have pore uptake of care’.

‘Another possibility is that the need sof those with mental illness are crowded out b the focus on mental concerns or other medical factors which may lead physicians to think that procedures are not a priority in this group.’

‘There is also a question whether people with severe mental illness follow through with advice they are given.’

825,000 people were involved in the research and involved individuals with and without mental health disorders.

Senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, Natasha Steward, said ‘This research reinforces the impact poor mental health can have on the risk of dying from heart disease.  It highlights the need for healthcare professionals to provide a holistic approach to care and to recognise that the state of someone’s mental health can impact on their decision-making about potential treatments.’

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