Demographic and health profiles of people with severe mental illness in general practice in Australia: a cross-sectional study

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Aust J Prim Health. 2022 Jun 2. doi:10.1071/PY21240. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People with severe mental illness have a higher rate of premature death than the general population, largely due to illness preventable in primary care. There has been little research on the health profile of this population attending Australian GP surgeries.

METHODS: In this national cross-sectional study, data from MedicineInsight of adult patients regularly attending general practice in 2018 were analyzed to estimate the prevalence of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (BSD) and to study the health profile of people with SBD compared to other patients. Multilevel models grouped by practice (n = 565) and patient and practice characteristics were created.

RESULTS: The prevalence of recorded SBDs was 1.91% (95% CI = 1.88%-1.94%) among the 618,849 patients included. Patients with recorded SBD were more likely than other patients to have a history of health risk factors, particularly smoking (aOR = 3.8, 95% CI = 3.6-3.9) and substance use (aOR = 5.9, 95% CI = 5.6-6.3), and higher odds of comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease (aOR = 1.3, 95% CI = 1.2-1.4), cancer (aOR = 1.1, 95% CI = 1.0-1.2), type 2 diabetes mellitus (aOR = 2.2, 95% CI = 2.0-2.3), chronic kidney diseases (ORa = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.5-2.0), chronic liver diseases (ORa = 3.3, 95% CI = 2.6- 4.0) and chronic respiratory diseases (ORa = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.7-1.8).

CONCLUSIONS: The higher prevalence of health risk factors and comorbidities in patients with SBD underscores the need for proactive health risk surveillance and preventive care to address this health inequity.

PMID:35649529 | DO I:10.1071/PY21240

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