'A third' of mentally ill people dying prematurely

Mentally ill patients are at a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease. Credit: PA

More than 30,000 mental health sufferers are dying every year from preventable diseases, new figures have shown.

Around a third of the 100,000 people who die every year from illnesses which could have been prevented by better medial treatment, had pre-existing mental health issues.

The study, Lethal Discrimination, from charity Rethink Mental Illness found mental health patients were three times more likely to develop diabetes and twice as likely to die from heart disease.

Rethink Mental Illness called on the Government to do more to improve the physical health of those suffering from diseases like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and chronic depression.

The charity says mentally ill patients are at higher rates of illness through side-effects of medication, smoking, a lack of basic health checks on the NHS and professionals not taking their concerns seriously.