Individuals with schizophrenia or severe bipolar disorder live much shorter lives than the general population, dying an average of 10 to 25 years younger depending on their country of residence and age at diagnosis.
The mortality gap between individuals with serious mental illness and the general population is well-established and as we wrote last fall, evidence indicates that this gap is getting worse not better.
In a newly published piece in Psychiatric Services, Mathew Goldman, MD, and authors argue serious mental illness should receive formal, national recognition as a disparities category because of this inequity. Other formal disparity categories include sexual and gender minorities, immigration status or obesity. The designation could impact health policy in important ways.