Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. Address for correspondence: Centre for Rural Mental Health, Bendigo Health Care Group, PO Box 126, Bendigo, Victoria 3552, Australia. Email: email@example.com
Cardiovascular risk factors for people with mental illness
Article first published online: 12 AUG 2003
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Volume 35, Issue 2, pages 196–202, April 2001
How to Cite
Davidson, S., Judd, F., Jolley, D., Hocking, B., Thompson, S. and Hyland, B. (2001), Cardiovascular risk factors for people with mental illness. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 35: 196–202. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1614.2001.00877.x
Sandra Davidson, Research Assistant
Department of General Practice, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Damien Jolley, Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Department of Health Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia
Barbara Hocking, Executive Director
SANE Australia, Melbourne, Australia
Sandra Thompson, Research Associate
MacFarlane Burnett Centre for Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia
Brendan Hyland, Consultant Psychiatrist
Bendigo Health Care Group, Bendigo, Australia
- Issue published online: 12 AUG 2003
- Article first published online: 12 AUG 2003
- cardiovascular risk factors;
- mental illness
Objective: The objective of this study was to document the prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease among people with chronic mental illness.
Method: A cross-sectional survey was conducted of 234 outpatients attending a community mental health clinic in the North-western Health Care Network in Melbourne, Australia. Prevalence of smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass index, hypertension, salt intake, exercise and history of hypercholesterolemia was assessed.
Results: Compared with a community sample, the mentally ill had a higher prevalence of smoking, overweight and obesity, lack of moderate exercise, harmful levels of alcohol consumption and salt intake. No differences were found on hypertension. Men, but not women, with mental illness were less likely to undertake cholesterol screening.
Conclusions: Psychiatric outpatients have a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors which may account for the higher rate of cardiovascular mortality among the mentally ill. Further research is needed to trial and evaluate interventions to effectively modify risk factors in this vulnerable population.