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Schizophrenia Diagnosis Associated with Higher Mortality Rate

(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - MedPage Today Action Points

o Explain to interested patients that this study reports increased mortality for people with schizophrenia at a given age, including a 12-fold increase in the suicide rate compared with the general population.

o Explain that people with schizophrenia are less likely to die from stroke than people in the general population and the risk of cancer mortality is only slightly elevated for people with schizophrenia.

o The data suggest that people with schizophrenia may adopt unhealthy or high risk life styles that may drive the increased mortality.

WACOL, Australia, Oct. 5 -- Schizophrenia leads to an age-related mortality rate that is about 2.5 times that of the general population, and the difference appears to be increasing, researchers here reported.

Suicide, which was more than 12 times more likely among people with schizophrenia, was the leading cause-specific mortality risk, John McGrath, M.D., Ph.D., of the Park Center for Mental Health, and colleagues, reported in the October issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

The investigators examined the standardized mortality ratios (SMRs), which were calculated by dividing the observed mortality reported in 37 schizophrenia studies by the expected mortality rates as predicted by age and sex in the general population. The studies, conducted in 25 countries, were published from Jan. 1, 1980 through Jan. 31, 2006.

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