Introduction: Patients with severe mental illness (SMI) have higher rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality than the general population. In the UK, data were limited regarding the known prevalence of physical health screening of SMI patients. Aims: A total of 966 patients with SMI from seven geographically varied regions in the UK agreed to participate in a 2-year nurse-led intervention (Well-being Support Programme), designed to improve their overall physical health by providing basic physical health checks, health promotion advice, weight management and physical activity groups in secondary care. Results: At baseline, only 31% of participants had undergone a recent physical health check. There were high rates of obesity (BMI > 30 in 49%), glucose abnormalities (12.4%), hypertension/prehypertension (50%), hyperlipidaemia (71%), poor diet (32%), low exercise levels (37.4%) and smoking (50%). Conclusions: Patients with SMI where healthcare professionals have concerns regarding their physical health, have potentially modifiable risk factors for CVD, which remain undiagnosed. Programmes designed to address the physical health problems in SMI need to be implemented and evaluated in this already marginalised group of people.
- severe mental illness
- cardiovascular disease