Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Schizophrenia and cancer

People with schizophrenia are four times more likely to die of cancer than people in the rest of the population. Prof. Frederic Limosin of the University of Reims studied 3,470 people with schizophrenia, analysing the incidence of cancer between 1993 and 2004. He found that 476 of the participants died over the course of the study. The leading cause of death was suicide but the next highest was cancer which killed 74 people - a death rate four times greater than that of the rest of the population. In men the risk of lung cancer was much greater (people with schizophrenia are much more likely to smoke) although the risk of overall cancer death was not significantly higher. In women the overall risk was greater with death due to breast cancer being significantly higher. The higher death rate from breast cancer could be due to delays in diagnosis and failure to comply with treatment among people with schizophrenia.

You can find out more about this research at


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