Those with severe mental illnesses have a higher chance of dying due to cardiac complications, according to a study published in PLOS Medicine on Tuesday.

The University of Birmingham's (United Kingdom) Amanda Lambert and other collaborators reviewed 108 studies that incorporated over 30 million people between the ages of 16 and 65 years when they were initially diagnosed with a severe mental illness, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Research done in the past has depicted associations with higher mortality rates from heart complications in those with mental illnesses, but whether or not the connection has remained over time was largely unknown.

“In this study, we found that SMI (severe mental illness) was associated with an approximate doubling in the rate ratio of CVD (cardiovascular disease) related mortality,” researchers wrote. There was an increased risk among those with schizophrenia when compared to those with bipolar disorder, as death is around 14 years earlier, according to the researchers.

Researchers confirmed "a strong association between SMI and incidence of and mortality from CVD", which was more prevalent in the 1990s and 2000s, although clarified that "more research is needed to understand the reasons for the higher morbidity risk and to assess why it may have been worsening in recent decades."

Mortality rates in people who have mental disorders are over double that of the overall population, according to the authors of the study. "The strengths of this review are its size and scope," researchers concluded. "Both schizophrenia and BD and different cardiovascular diagnoses were included. A wide search strategy was used, not limited by language or date of publication."