People with psychological problems have higher risk of overall mortality, from cardiovascular diseases and from tumors, according to a study by the National Epidemiological Center of the Carlos III Institute of Health (ISCIII), which also shows that this association was greater among participants who had not previously been diagnosed with a mental disorder. and those who were not taking medications for mental health problems.
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Research published in the journal Journal of Psychiatric Research, assesses the association between psychological distress and mortality in the Spanish adult population; In total, data from 21,003 people who were monitored for 9 years were analyzed.
Distress is the negative aspect of stress. This is when people cannot cope with the situation and we are overwhelmed with emotions.
That is why the conclusion of the study is: Individuals with psychological distress have a higher risk of mortality.
In particular, the risk of overall mortality among people with psychological disorders who had previously been diagnosed with a mental disorder was 1.18 compared to 1.34 in people without a specified diagnosis.
Meanwhile, participants with a psychological disorder who were taking medications to treat mental disorders They had a lower risk of mortality than those who did not receive treatment.
The research is carried out in a working group Mortality according to Spanish health surveys (MESES), led by ISCIII researcher Iñaki Galán, which includes researchers Teresa López-Cuadrado, the first signatory of the work, Cristina Ortiz and Ana Ayuso-Álvarez.
Teresa López-Cuadrado and Iñaki Galán note that the findings of this work could have important public health implications because “Despite the high prevalence of mental health problems, Many people do not seek professional help in a timely manner and may therefore receive treatment too late or not at all.”
To conduct this research data from the National Health Survey were used, who coordinates Ministry of Health care, along with information from death records up to December 2020. The main variable of the analysis is the so-called GHQ-12, a self-screening instrument whose purpose is to identify the prevalence of probable cases of psychiatric morbidity or psychological illness in the population.