Prevalence of Chronic Conditions Among Seniors with Severe Mental Illness

Severe mental illness (SMI) “disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning.” SMI, which includes schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar disorder, can seriously impair quality of life and cause disability, and can significantly reduce life expectancy. Though definitions of severe mental illnesses vary, this analysis’ SMI include the following frequently disabling conditions: major depression, other mood disorders, and psychoses. Of the 1.4 million Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries age 65 and older with SMI (approximately 6%), 48% have depression, 47% have psychoses, and 20% have other mood disorders.

Federal Budget and Policy