Excess Early Mortality in Schizophrenia

Posted: 1 Apr 2014

See all articles by Thomas Munk Laursen

Thomas Munk Laursen

Aarhus University - National Centre for Register-Based Research

Merete Nordentoft

University of Copenhagen - Department of Clinical Medicine

Preben Bo Mortensen

Psychiatric Hospital, Denmark - Institute of Psychiatric Demography

Date Written: March 2014

Abstract

Schizophrenia is often referred to as one of the most severe mental disorders, primarily because of the very high mortality rates of those with the disorder. This article reviews the literature on excess early mortality in persons with schizophrenia and suggests reasons for the high mortality as well as possible ways to reduce it. Persons with schizophrenia have an exceptionally short life expectancy. High mortality is found in all age groups, resulting in a life expectancy of approximately 20 years below that of the general population. Evidence suggests that persons with schizophrenia may not have seen the same improvement in life expectancy as the general population during the past decades. Thus, the mortality gap not only persists but may actually have increased. The most urgent research agenda concerns primary candidates for modifiable risk factors contributing to this excess mortality, i.e., side effects of treatment and lifestyle factors, as well as sufficient prevention and treatment of physical comorbidity.

Suggested Citation

Laursen, Thomas Munk and Nordentoft, Merete and Mortensen, Preben Bo, Excess Early Mortality in Schizophrenia (March 2014). Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 10, pp. 425-448, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2418989 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032813-153657

Thomas Munk Laursen (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - National Centre for Register-Based Research ( email )

Aarhus, 8210
Denmark

Merete Nordentoft

University of Copenhagen - Department of Clinical Medicine

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, København DK-1165
Denmark

Preben Bo Mortensen

Psychiatric Hospital, Denmark - Institute of Psychiatric Demography

Risskov
Denmark

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