People with psychotic illness receiving public mental health services also have poorer physical health than the general population, more often experiencing chronic conditions and being more at-risk due to their high levels of obesity, smoking, and alcohol and drug use.They are far more likely to harm themselves. They also think about and attempt suicide at rates far higher than the general population.
Physical conditionsChronic back, neck or other pain were common (31.8%) amongst people with psychotic illness, followed closely by above average asthma rates (30.1% compared to 20.2% for the general population) and heart or circulatory conditions (26.8% compared to 16.3% for the general population) (figure 8).
One quarter (24.0%) of people with psychosis were at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
Almost half (45.1%) of people with psychotic illness were obese (figure 9).
Physical activity levels were far lower in people with psychosis, with 96.4% classified as either sedentary or undertaking low levels of exercise in the previous week compared to 72.0% for the general population.
Smoking, alcohol and drug useTwo thirds (66.1%) of people with psychosis smoke, smoking on average 21 cigarettes per day (figure 10).
- Almost one third (31.0%) of people had made an effort to quit in the last year, but just over one quarter (27.3%) had never tried.
- This compares to 35.3% of males and 14.1% of females in the general population.
- This compares to 12.0% of males and 5.8% of females in the general population.
SuicidalityJust over one-tenth (11.5%) of people reported that they were thinking about suicide at the time of interview and two thirds (67.0%) had done so in their lifetime.
Half (49.5%) reported they had attempted suicide at some point in their lifetime.
- This compares to only 3.7% in the general population.
- Females were more likely to have attempted suicide than males (57.5% and 44.2% respectively).
Figure 8: Chronic conditions
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Text version of figure 8
|Condition||Psychosis survey||General population|
|Chronic back, neck or other pain||31.8||27.9|
|Heart or circulatory condition||26.8||16.3|
|Severe headaches/ migraines||25.4||8.9|
Figure 9: Overweight and obesity
Text version of figure 9
|Physical condition||Psychosis survey||General population|
Figure 10: Smoking, and alcohol and drug abuse
Text version of figure 10