Severe and common mental disorders and risk of emergency hospital admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions among the UK Biobank cohort

Claire L Niedzwiedz*, María José Aragón, Josefien J F Breedvelt, Daniel J Smith, Stephanie L Prady, Rowena Jacobs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: People with mental disorders have worse physical health compared with the general population, which could be attributable to receiving poorer quality healthcare.

AIMS: To examine the relationship between severe and common mental disorders and risk of emergency hospital admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSCs), and factors associated with increased risk.

METHOD: Baseline data for England ( N = 445 814) were taken from UK Biobank, which recruited participants aged 37-73 years during 2006-2010, and linked to hospital admission records up to 31 December 2019. Participants were grouped into those with a history of either schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression or anxiety, or no mental disorder. Survival analysis was used to assess the risk of hospital admission for ACSCs among those with mental disorders compared with those without, adjusting for factors in different domains (sociodemographic, socioeconomic, health and biomarkers, health-related behaviours, social isolation and psychological).

RESULTS: People with schizophrenia had the highest (unadjusted) risk of hospital admission for ACSCs compared with those with no mental disorder (hazard ratio 4.40, 95% CI 4.04-4.80). People with bipolar disorder (hazard ratio 2.48, 95% CI 2.28-2.69) and depression or anxiety (hazard ratio 1.76, 95% CI 1.73-1.80) also had higher risk. Associations were more conservative when including all admissions, as opposed to first admissions only. The observed associations persisted after adjusting for a range of factors.

CONCLUSIONS: People with severe mental disorders have the highest risk of preventable hospital admissions. Ensuring people with mental disorders receive adequate ambulatory care is essential to reduce the large health inequalities they experience.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere211
Number of pages9
JournalBJPsych Open
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press
on behalf of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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