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Susceptibility of people with long term illness to depression and anxiety is not recognised, report says

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e950 (Published 08 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e950
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

A failure to recognise that people with long term conditions are often also depressed and anxious makes for poorer outcomes and substantially increases the cost of caring for them, say the healthcare think tank the King’s Fund and the independent Centre for Mental Health in a new report.

People with diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have a much greater chance of also having mental health problems that worsen their prognosis. Yet the “silo based care” offered by the NHS means that these mental health problems often go untreated or even unrecognised, the report says.

The results are damaging and expensive, it says. For example, depression increases mortality after a heart …

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