Many mental illnesses reduce life expectancy more than heavy smoking

depression

An analysis by Oxford University psychiatrists has shown that serious mental illnesses reduce life expectancy by 10 to 20 years – which represents a loss of years that’s equivalent to or worse than that for heavy smoking.

 

 

Read the whole article here.

Source: University of Oxford

Photo Credit: Creative Commons (KellyB.)

Mental Illness Associated With Shorter Lifespan More Than Heavy Smoking

Mental Illness

Approximately 9.6 million American adults have been diagnosed with serious mental illness (SMI), and a new study indicates that this could have a bigger impact on lifespan than smoking cigarettes, due to an increased risk of suicide and other high-risk behaviors. A team of researchers led by Seena Fazel of Oxford University came to this conclusion following a meta-analysis of over 400 papers. Their full analysis was published in World Psychiatry

The average lifespan in the US and UK is 76.4 and 79.5, respectively. Smoking heavily can take an average of 8-10 years off of that time. However, mental illness and the tendency for suicide and other high-risk behavior including substance abuse can reduce the average lifespan by 10-20 years. The meta-analysis considered over 400 papers and ultimately used 20 papers to compare 20 different mental illnesses in a total of 1.7 million people and over 250,000 fatalities. Where longevity is concerned, certain mental illnesses are on par with smoking a pack or more a day.

“There are likely to be many reasons for this. High-risk behaviors are common in psychiatric patients, especially drug and alcohol abuse, and they are more likely to die by suicide,” explained Fazel in a press release. “The stigma surrounding mental health may mean people aren’t treated as well for physical health problems when they do see a doctor.”

Of course, not all illnesses had equal risk. Those with bipolar disorder have an average lifespan decreased by 9-20 years. Schizophrenia is 10-20 years, depression is 7-11, and those who abuse drugs and alcohol could have their lives reduced by as much as 9-24 years.

A lesser known aspect of mental illness is the profound physical effects it can have. The total breadth of physical ailments is quite extensive, but it spans metabolic disorders, respiratory disease, sexual disorders, cardiovascular disease, and even pregnancy complications. Mental illness can exacerbate certain physical ailments, as they are less likely to seek appropriate medical care.

However, Fazel believes this unfortunate trend can be reversed: “All of this can be changed. There are effective drug and psychological treatments for mental health problems. We can improve mental health and social care provision. That means making sure people have straightforward access to health care and appropriate jobs and meaningful daytime activities. It’ll be challenging, but it can be done.” He also adds that mental and physical health should be treated hand in hand, and not as two separate entities. Considerable money has been spent researching and educating the public about the dangers of tobacco, and Fazel believes a similar approach should be taken with mental health.

“People with mental health problems are among the most vulnerable in society,” Fazel continues. “This work emphasizes how crucial it is that they have access to appropriate healthcare and advice, which is not always the case. We now have strong evidence that mental illness is just as threatening to life expectancy as other public health threats such as smoking.” Full article

Source IFL Health and Medicine / Photo Credit: Porsche Brosseau via flickr

Porn viewing linked to less grey matter in brain

Scientists call for further study after failing to decide whether brain differences are cause or effect of porn consumption.

Pornography website warning message

Researchers found differences in volume in one area of the brain among men who consumed more pornography Photograph: Martyn Vickery/Alamy

Less grey matter is found in the brains of men who watch large amounts of sexually explicit material, a study has found. The research, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, could not determine if porn actually caused the brain to shrink, however, and the authors called for more study on the topic.

“Future studies should investigate the effects of pornography longitudinally or expose naive participants to pornography and investigate the causal effects over time,” said researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.

The institute recruited 64 male subjects aged 21-45 “with a broad range of pornography consumption”.

The men were not told initially that the research was monitoring their brains on porn, rather that it was “a scientific study including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements”.

The men were told during a later phone interview that questions about pornography would be part of the research, and none dropped out.

The men filled out surveys, describing how much porn they watched. Their responses averaged a little more than four hours a week.

Their brains were scanned with MRI technology while they were shown sexually explicit images from porn websites, along with non-sexual images of people exercising.

“Our findings indicated that grey matter volume of the right caudate of the striatum is smaller with higher pornography use,” the researchers said.

Furthermore, when sexually explicit material was shown, the men’s MRIs showed diminished function in a part of the brain that processes motivation.

But were men with smaller striatums seeking more porn, or did more porn make the brain smaller? Was it a consequence, or a precondition?

“Individuals with lower striatum volume may need more external stimulation to experience pleasure and might therefore experience pornography consumption as more rewarding, which may in turn lead to [more porn watching],” said the authors, concluding that more study is needed.

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/may/29/porn-viewing-linked-less-grey-matter-brain

Der dumme Vegetarier

Der dumme Vegetarier – Deutsch, 48 min –

In dem folgenden Bericht “Der dumme Vegetarier” werden die Zusammenhänge zwischen Mensch und Tier, Fleisch und Essen, und die Konsequenzen für die Erde genaustens beschrieben. Das Video zeigt kristallklar, welche Informationen in dem heutigen Konsumfleisch stecken, inwiefern Fleisch-Essen gesund ist, warum wir so gerne Fleisch essen, welcher Aufwand zur Herstellung von Fleisch betrieben werden muss, welches Ergebnis der Fleischverzehr haben kann und welche Auswirkungen der Fleischkonsum für unsere Erde hat. Dieses Video ist für all diejenigen interessant, die wissen wollen, was alles in einem Stück Fleisch steckt und woher es kommt.

Mangelerscheinungen ohne Fleisch?

Vegetarier werden oft den Fleischessern ausgelacht und argumentieren das Fleisch-Essen mit Gesundheit. Wer Fleisch ist, ist gesund. Wer kein Fleisch ist, wird Mangelerscheinungen haben.

Wer hat Recht? Wissen ist Macht. Und so liegt es jedem selbst, sich genügend Informationen einzuholen, um sich seine Meinung bilden zu können. Wir sind mit dem Fleischkonsum groß geworden und es ist für uns das Normalste der Welt. Aber was gesellschaftlich als “normal” gilt, muss ja nicht immer richtig. Jeder hat seine Realität, in der seine Vorstellung von richtig und falsch pflegt. Neues Wissen, neue Erkenntnisse und neue Erfahrungen können somit das Bild von richtig und falsch verändern. Mehr Wissen über das gesunde Fleisch-Essen kann also dafür sorgen, dass ein Fleischesser zum Vegetarier wird, oder sogar zum Veganer.

Das obige Video “Der dumme Vegetarier” ist zufällig eine saubere Zusammenfassung all meiner bisher verfassten

What are the eight most popular diets today?

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There are literally hundreds of thousands of diets. Some are for losing weight, others for gaining weight, lowering cholesterol, living a long and healthy life, etc. The Mediterranean Diet, for example, reflects the culinary habits of southern European people.

The word diet comes from Old French diete and Medieval Latindieta meaning “a daily food allowance”. The Latin word diaetaand Greek word diaita mean “a way of life, a regimen”.
A diet can be described as a set course of eating and drinking in which the kind and amount of food one should eat is been planned out in order to achieve weight loss or follow a certain lifestyle.

This Medical News Today information article provides details on the most popular diets according to three criteria: how many articles there are around about these diets/lifestyles, how popular they seem to be generally, and how often we receive feedback on them.

Diets mentioned in this article include: the Atkins Dietthe Zone Diet, the vegetarian diet, … Read more.

Source: Medical News Today, Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Merry Christmas from BMJ: James Bond’s Alcohol Problem, a Creepy Hospital Clock, and Bradys’ Bradycardia

Merry Christmas from BMJ: James Bond’s Alcohol Problem, a Creepy Hospital Clock, and Bradys’ Bradycardia

By Kelly Young

James Bond may prefer his martinis “shaken, not stirred” because of an alcohol-related tremor, according to research in BMJ‘s cheeky Christmas edition.

Researchers read 14 of Ian Fleming’s novels and calculated how many alcoholic beverages the spy consumed. Not including the days when Bond was unable to drink (e.g., due to incarceration), he averaged 92 alcoholic units weekly. The authors conclude: “The level of functioning as displayed in the books is inconsistent with the physical, mental, and indeed sexual functioning expected from someone drinking this much alcohol. We advise an immediate referral.”

Also in the holiday issue, researchers report that one Tuesday, a rheumatology patient complained that the clock in his hospital room was telling him to die. Indeed, the clock read “DIE.” “Dienstag” is the German word for Tuesday. The clock’s language settings were adjusted so it read “TUE,” and the patient lived.

And finally, people in Dublin with the last name Brady apparently have a higher rate of pacemaker implantation for bradycardia than people with other last names (1.38% vs. 0.61%). The authors conclude: “Further research could include investigating increased rates of obesity in the Fatt family or depression in people whose surname is Lowe.”

This writer, for one, is thrilled with this latest news and is hopeful that she won’t have to stockpile antiwrinkle cream.

BMJ article on James Bond (Free)

BMJ article on gloomy German hospital clock (Free)

BMJ article on bradycardia among Bradys (Free)

Retrieved from http://www.jwatch.org/fw108259/2013/12/13/merry-christmas-bmj-james-bonds-alcohol-problem-creepy?query=pfw