Psychological “distress” increases risk of dying from common causes and even cancer


“Distress”, the most negative and harmful form of stress, increases the risk of mortality from common causes, From cardiovascular diseases and even cancer, as proven by Spanish researchers More than 20,000 people were analyzed over nine years.

A team from the National Epidemiology Center of the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) has studied the association between psychological distress and mortality in the Spanish adult population and has published the results of their work in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

In contrast to other types of stress, such as “eustress” – which is considered positive and motivating – “Crisis” is very negative.

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The study is part of the “MESES” (‘Mortality to Spanish Health Survey’) work group led by researcher Iñaki Galán of the Carlos III Health Institute, and researcher Teresa López-Cuadrado – the first signatory of the work – who is also part of the “MESES” (‘Mortality to Spanish Health Survey’) work group. -, Christina Ortiz and Ana Ayuso-Alvarez.

The research center said in a press release issued on Monday that the study concluded that individuals with psychological distress have a higher risk of death from common causes and from cardiovascular diseases and various types of cancer.

Researchers have observed that This association is greater in people who have not been previously diagnosed with a mental disorder, and in patients who are not taking prescribed medication for mental problems.

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To conduct this research, 21,003 individuals were analyzed, who were monitored for 9 years.

Specifically, the overall mortality risk among those with a psychotic disorder who already had a mental disorder diagnosis was 1.18, compared with 1.34 among those without said diagnosis, the institute reported.

Consistent with these data, participants with psychological distress who were taking medications to treat mental disorders had a lower risk of death than those who were not receiving treatment.

Teresa López-Cuadrado and Iñaki Galán point out that the findings of this work could have important implications for public health, because despite the high prevalence of mental health problems, Many people do not seek professional help immediately, and so they may get treatment too late, or not at all.

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To conduct this research, data from the National Health Survey coordinated by the Health Ministry, as well as information from death records up to December 2020, were used.


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