New York: Drugs that treat psychiatric illnesses may not increase a person`s risk of dying over three to four months of treatment, according to a new study.Researchers found people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are more likely to die at any given time than people without those conditions, but taking drugs to treat the disorders doesn`t appear to increase that risk."If anything they seem to reduce the risk - except for a couple of old drugs," Dr. Arif Khan, the study`s lead author from the Northwest Clinical Research Center in Bellevue, Washington, told Reuters Health.For many years, researchers and doctors have known the lives of people with serious mental illnesses are about 25 years shorter than the rest of the population, on average. Their earlier deaths are caused by a combination of suicides, substance abuse and natural causes, such as heart attacks.There had been lingering concerns, however, that drugs used to treat psychiatric conditions may contribute to early deaths.For the new study, the researchers analyzed data on more than 92,000 people who participated in trials for 28 drugs approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder between 1990 and 2011.
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