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What is the relationship between chronic illness and mental illness?

Four chronic illnesses -- cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer and respiratory illnesses -- are responsible for 60 percent of the world's deaths. Our understanding of the relationship between these chronic illnesses and mental illness has increased dramatically in the last two decades. We now know that persons with these chronic illnesses have much higher rates of depression and anxiety than the general population. Major depression among persons experiencing chronic medical conditions increases the burden of their physical illness and increases medical costs. The presence of mental illness with long-term illnesses impairs self-care and adherence to treatment regimens and causes increased mortality.

The bottom line is that mental illnesses occur with chronic mental conditions in many patients, causing significant role impairment, work loss and work cutback. They also worsen prognosis for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cancer and other chronic illnesses.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.