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People with mental illness are twice as likely to develop cardiovascular, respiratory, infectious and metabolic diseases compared with the general population.1This disparity in health occurs from the earliest presentation of mental ill health and affects people across the life span,1 reducing life expectancy by 15–30 years compared with the general population.2 This poor physical health, as well as the associated widening mortality gap,3 has been described as a ‘human rights scandal’.2 This problem led to a Lancet Psychiatry Commission1 on protecting the physical health of people living with mental illness, with a focus on prevention and early intervention across all levels of treatment. The Lancet Psychiatry Commission outlines advances in our understanding of the link between physical and mental health, summarising findings from over 100 systematic reviews and meta-analyses, providing a practical blueprint towards protecting the physical health of this vulnerable population.1 Importantly, the blueprint recommends that all people living with mental illness have access to exercise and dietary interventions as part of routine mental healthcare.
Relationship between mental and physical health
For people living with mental illness, higher rates of smoking, sleep disturbance, physical inactivity and …
Twitter @simon_rosenbaum, @RobStanton2
Contributors SR and GMcK drafted the manuscript. All other authors provided critical review and approved the final version.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors. SR is funded by an NHMRC Fellowship. GM is funded by a Suicide Prevention Australia PhD Scholarship.JF is currently supported by a University of Manchester Presidential Fellowship (P123958) and a UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowship (MR/T021780/1) and has received support from a NICM-Blackmores Institute Fellowship
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.