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No health without mental health-towards a holistic approach

The importance of the promotion and the protection of physical and recently mental health is globally well recognized, but little attention has been given to the interrelationship between the two. Poor physical health can make individuals susceptible to poor mental health. Similarly, we know that people living with mental health problems often live with physical health problems as well. A growing body of evidence is now showing that, indeed, persons with an enduring mental illness are at much greater risk than the general population for developing certain physical health problems, most notably cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity. This is the reason why, compared with the general population, people with severe mental illness lose 25-30 years of normal life expectancy.

A holistic, but individualized, approach is proposed which involve, deep knowledge from health professionals about how to deal with co-morbidities, direct communication between doctors and families, careful monitoring of individuals receiving health care interventions and better collaboration among primary care physical and mental health specialists.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Malliori, M. No health without mental health-towards a holistic approach. Ann Gen Psychiatry 9 (Suppl 1), S35 (2010).

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