Publication date: 12 April 2018
As a leading partner in Equally Well, Te Pou has undertaken an analysis of New Zealand Health Survey (NZHS) data to better understand the physical health needs of people who experience mental health problems.
Findings highlight the increased risk of poor physical health of people who experience mental health problems as a health equity issue. While the prevalence of stroke in the general population is low, the risk of experiencing a stroke for people diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression was found to be about twice as high. For example, 2.4 per cent of people diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression had been diagnosed by their doctor as having had a stroke, compared to 1.3 per cent of people without a diagnosis. Similarly, the risk of experiencing chronic pain was also found to be about twice as high among people diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression compared to others (31.8 vs. 18.2 per cent respectively). Despite this higher health need, people with a diagnosis of depression and anxiety do not experience the same access to, and quality of, health care.
Read about the key findings and recommended actions for improving people’s wellbeing in our infographic.