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People with severe mental illness have higher risk of heart disease

Raghu Kshitiz

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LONDON — People who are suffering from severe mental illness (SMI), including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression have 53 per cent risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those without mental illness, according to an international study of more than 3.2 million people with severe mental illness.

The study led by King’s College London, the research shows that people with severe mental illness (SMI), including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression, have a 53 percent higher risk for having cardiovascular disease than healthy controls, with a 78 percent higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease over the longer term.

Their risk of dying from the disease was also 85 per cent higher than people of a similar age in the general population.

Researchers have identified some important factors which increase risk for heart disease, including antipsychotic use and higher body mass index.

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Published online in World Psychiatry, the study suggest that clinicians, where possible, should choose antipsychotics with lower side effects related to weight gain, high blood pressure and glucose abnormalities.

The findings highlight the importance of regularly screening SMI patients for cardiovascular risk and also point towards a number of potentially modifiable risk factors.

“People with SMI (severe mental illness) die much earlier than those without these disorders, yet the majority of these premature deaths may be preventable with care that prioritises lifestyle changes, such as exercise, better nutrition and stopping smoking, along with cautious prescribing of antipsychotics,” Brendon Stubbs from King’s College London said.

The researchers examined 92 studies across four continents and 16 different countries.

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Health

Red meat, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase risk of colon cancer

Raghu Kshitiz

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Heavy diet like red meats, refined grains, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase long-term risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.

These foods all increase inflammation in our body, and the inflammation they cause is associated with a higher chance of developing colon cancer, according to pooled data from two major health studies appeared in JAMA Oncology journal.

According to researchers, a diet high in foods with the potential to cause inflammation, including meats, refined grains and high-calorie beverages, was associated with increased risk of developing colorectal cancer for men and women.

Basically, what makes for a healthy diet overall also appears to promote a cancer-free colon, said senior researcher Dr. Edward Giovannucci. He is a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

“It’s consistent with what we already recommend for a healthy diet in general,” Giovannucci said, adding “I see that as good news. We’re supporting the current evidence, and not telling people to do something completely different from what they’ve been told.”

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For the study, conducted by Fred K Tabung from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, the team analysed 1,21,050 male and female health care professionals, who were followed for 26 years in long-term studies. The researchers completed the food questionnaires about what they ate, on the basis of which data analysis was done last year.

The scores were based on 18 food groups characterised for their inflammatory potential and were then calculated from the questionnaires given to participants every four years.

The results indicated that higher scores reflecting inflammation-causing diets were associated with a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer in men and women.

Previous studies have linked diet factors with colon cancer, but there’s been no clear explanation why that might be, he added.

With Agency Inputs

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