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Aust Fam Physician. 2015;44(11):781-3.

Comorbidities and risk factors among patients with schizophrenia.

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BPsych (Hons), MSocHlth, Senior Research Analyst, Family Medicine Research Centre, University of Sydney, NSW.


General practitioners (GPs) are charged with maintaining a holistic approach to their patients' health. While most patients with schizophrenia attend public mental health services and/or non-government organisations supporting people with mental illness, 88.2% of people with a psychotic illness (the majority being schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder) had visited a GP in the previous year. For at least 30-40% of people living with schizophrenia in Australia, ongoing management is provided by their GP alone. Moreover, there is evidence that patients with schizophrenia value the help provided by GPs. Patients with schizophrenia have reduced life expectancy. Overseas research (primarily from the UK and US) has found that the poor physical health of patients with schizophrenia can be attributed to a number of factors such as modifiable lifestyle risk factors and side effects of medication, compounded by causes intrinsic to the illness such as mental stress and loss of initiative.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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