Monday, February 08, 2010

Excess mortality and schizophrenia

As a group, people with schizophrenia have a higher death rate than other people; something that has been proved in a number of different populations, continents and time periods. In Scandinavia the number of excessive deaths among schizophrenic people has actually increased since the 1970s but it is not known if this trend holds true in the U.K. A team of researchers from the University of Southampton studied 370 people with schizophrenia who had had contact with local NHS services between 1981 and 1982 and looked to see how many of them had died, and of what, by 2006. The researchers found that people with schizophrenia had a 2.89x greater risk of dying over this period than people in the rest of the population. Deaths from suicide were concentrated in the first five years after people had come into contact with psychiatric services but most of the excess mortality was due to natural causes. There was an 'indication' that deaths from cardiovascular disease may have increased in frequency relative to the rest of the population over the course of the study.

Brown, Steve ... [et al] - Twenty-five year mortality of a community cohort with schizophrenia British Journal of Psychiatry February 2010, 196(2), 116-121

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