I’ve said before that things are not improving significantly in mental health care field. A big indication of this regressive state of affairs is shown by a new study just released in the UK. This study shows that the mortality rate for people in mental health treatment has actually gone up. An article about the study, in Medscape Medical News, bears the heading Mortality Gap Widening for the Mentally Ill.
For people discharged with schizophrenia in 1999, the excess risk was 1.6 times that of the general population (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5 – 1.8), but by 2006, it was twice the rate, at 2.2 (95% CI, 2.0 – 2.4; P < .001 for trend).
People labeled schizophrenic were twice as likely to die early in 2006 as they were in 1999.
The trend was similar for bipolar disorder. The ratios were 1.3 (95% CI, 1.1 – 1.6) in 1999 and 1.9 (95% CI, 1.6 – 2.2) in 2006 (P = .06 for trend).
For people labeled bipolar the trend is catching up with the mortality rate for people labeled with schizophrenia.
Most of the deaths were a result of natural causes, especially cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease.
Nobody ever died of natural causes. Cardiovascular disease and respiratory diseases are not natural causes, and sometimes they are the result of metabolic changes produced by pharmaceutical products.
This is where I disagree with the conclusions of the researchers. If these researchers had been looking for iatrogenic causes for these deaths, I think they would have found them. Instead they’re metaphorically looking at a burning house while ignoring the empty gas canisters strewn all about around it.