The research conducted by St. Michael's Hospital over a period of 10-years found that having a mental illness increases the risk of developing a physical illness by 10 times in both men and women.
However, women with mental illness tend to develop a physical illness a year earlier than men, according to the study by Dr. Flora Matheson, a scientist in hospital's Centre for Research on Inner City Health.
Women were at a 14 percent reduced risk, compared to men, of developing physical illness; meaning that men are disadvantaged from a health perspective.
The study, which used data from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, was conducted to see whether gender also had an impact on the relationship between mental illness and onset of physical illnesses.
There is growing interest in studying the link between physical and mental illness as new studies indicate people with serious mental illness have higher rates of physical ailments such as metabolic syndrome, hypertension and cardiovascular, viral and respiratory diseases.
The study is published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
--ANI (Posted on 10-09-2013)