Introduction: Patients with chronic mental illnesses have increased rates of physical illness compared with the general population. Mentally ill people die earlier than general population. Physical illnesses could be contributing to this.
Objectives: To identify the prevalence of physical health problems in patients with chronic mental illnesses.
Methods: A descriptive, non-experimental approach was used and the setting was a tertiary care in-patient government psychiatric hospital in North Kerala in a sample of 250.
Results: Study showed significant number of patients had physical problems. These included sleep problems, forgetfulness, tremors, elevated blood pressure, low haemoglobin level, elevated blood sugar level and lower MCV value. High BMI was also seen.
Conclusion: Prevalence of physical health problems was high in patients with chronic mental illness. Result has wide implications in care of mentally ill.
Key words: physical health problems, prevalence, chronic mental illness.